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January precipitation normal, despite big dumps

Although West Kootenay started 2022 with some huge dumps of snow that took civic crews weeks to clean up, the overall precipitation for the month was actually exactly normal.

According to statistics from the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar, we received 77 cm of snow in January, which was 40 per cent above the normal 55 cm, although far below the record 185 cm set in 1969.

However, the amount of rainfall was 65 per cent below normal: 8.8 mm compared to the usual 26.2 mm and the record 85.6 mm set only last year.

In all, we had 75.8 mm of precipitation. Normal is 75.5 mm.

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Seventy per cent of the month’s total snowfall came in the first seven days. The 24-hour dump was on the 2nd, mostly overnight, when 24.6 cm fell, followed by another eight centimetres on the morning of the 3rd.

Forecaster Jesse Ellis says the most notable thing was the wide range of snow density seen within relatively short distances. Some areas of West Kootenay only 20 to 30 km apart saw significantly different accumulations.

“A transition towards drier conditions happened during the latter half of the month as a blocking upper ridge pattern set over the area,” Ellis said.

No temperature or precipitation records were broken. The coldest temperature of the month was minus-15.2 on the 1st, and the warmest was 4.5 on the 31st.

The record low for the month is minus-25.7, set on Jan. 1, 1979, while the record high is 10 degrees, set on Jan. 16, 1974.

The mean monthly temperature was 0.4 degrees below average.

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