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February precipitation 43% below normal

The West Kootenay received close to the usual amount of snow last month but far less rain.

According to statistics compiled by weather specialist Jesse Ellis at the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar, we received 5.2 millimeters of rain compared to the normal 28.1 mm, as cooler temperatures kept snow levels at valley bottoms — often the case during a La Nina pattern, Ellis said.

The 25 centimeters of snow last month was just shy of the typical 25.7 cm. Ran and snow combined came to 29 mm of precipitation, 43 per cent below the average of 51.2 mm.

“A blocking upper ridge centred off the BC coast was a recurring pattern this month,” Ellis says. “This usually means that the West Kootenay is positioned under a cool, and in this case, relatively dry northwesterly flow aloft [which] also helps support outbreaks of Arctic air pushing southward in the area.”

Three quarters of the total snowfall fell in the final three days of the month as a moist Pacific flow pushed in over the modified Arctic airmass.

The warmest temperature of the month was 8.9 degrees on the 16th and the lowest was minus-15.3 on the 23rd.

The all-time for the month was set on Feb. 28, 2010 when it got up to 14.3 and the all-time low was on Feb. 5, 2014 when it dropped to minus-21.5.

The average temperature for the month of minus-1.6 was 1.5 degrees below normal.

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