Wet, mild December held few surprises for forecasters

While precipitation was normal, mild temperatures meant little fell as snow

It was a warm and wet December 2018, but not particularly out of the ordinary for the last month of the year in southern B.C.

The forecasters at the Southeast Fire Centre (SEFC) have released their summary of last month’s weather, and it held few surprises.

“The mean monthly temperature was two degrees milder than normal. The total amount of precipitation was 100 per cent of normal,” said Ron Lakeman, a weather forecaster at the SEFC.

While the first eight days of December were dry and uneventful — an upper ridge of high pressure dominated — that didn’t last. The next 23 days saw measurable precipitation in 16 of them.

The most significant snowfall was 17 centimetres on Dec. 11, which is also the new record maximum amount of precipitation for that date. Even with the mild temperatures, the monthly snowfall was near normal.

Much has been made of the effect of El Nino on local weather patterns, but Lakeman said he wouldn’t commit to blaming the phenomenon for a mild December.

“It’s somewhat debatable. El Ninos usually have more relevance Christmas-onwards,” he said.

“It’s possible that’s what it was, but it could have been a coincidence. El Ninos typically have more influence in January, February and March, but some years they do start earlier. But yes, it was on the mild side.”

RELATED: West Kootenay ski hills could see impact of El Nino this winter

The mildest temperature during the month was 6.4 C during the night of the 20th. The coldest temperature was the early morning low of -9.7 C on Dec. 22.

The mean annual temperature during 2018 was 9.2 C, which is half a degree warmer than the average 8.7 C.

It’s not record-setting though.

The warmest year on record was 2015 with a mean temperature of 10.2 C. The 2018 total amount of precipitation was within one millimetre of the normal 751 millimetres. The wettest year on record is 2012 with 1,089.6 milimetres; the driest is 1985 with only 479.5 milimetres.



reporter@rosslandnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Skier caught in backcountry avalanche near Rossland

‘The man was lucky he had the ‘A-Team’ of ski patrol people able to respond as quickly as they did,’ says Rossland rescue spokesperson

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read