Forecaster Ron Lakeman from the Southeast Fire Centre reports January 2018 as having the greatest amount of snowfall since January 1982, and the wettest (rain) on record since 2006. (Sheri Regnier/Black Press)

January snowfall highest in 36 years

West Kootenay precipitation amounted to 147 cm, or double the usual mix of rain and snow

  • Feb. 2, 2018 12:00 a.m.

January had the greatest amount of snow recorded for the month in 36 years.

Combined with an unusually mild climate, last month had the most rain on record since 2006.

“January 2018 was unseasonably mild and very eventful as numerous Pacific systems spread frequent, and at times, heavy precipitation across the area,” local forecaster Ron Lakeman reports. “The amounts of precipitation were near double the normal for January.”

Measurable precipitation was recorded 22 of the 31 days, dropping 147 centimetres (cm) of rain and snow combined.

The heaviest mix of wet snow and rain fell during a 48 hour period beginning Jan. 23, as a large Pacific frontal system slowly pushed across southern B.C.

New record daily maximums of 16.8 cm, 24.6 cm, and 26.4 cm fell on Jan. 8, Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 respectively.

Along with being unusually wet, January 2018 temperatures averaged almost 2 C above normal.

“A modified Arctic airmass did provide relatively cold temperatures during the initial four days of the month,” Lakeman said. “A predominant southwesterly flow resulted in near to milder than normal temperatures during the remainder of the month.”

The coldest day was -9 C the early morning of Jan. 2.

Lakeman’s month-end summary notes January 1974 as having the warmest day on record for the month, that year the temperature rose to 10 C on Jan. 16. This past month the warmest day was 7.3 C, recorded Jan. 18.

The coldest day ever recorded in January dates back 39 years. Jan. 1, 1979 began with at a frigid -26 C.