2015 was warmest year locally since 1966

Last year was the warmest on record of the last 50 years, according to forecasters at the Southeast Fire Centre’s weather office.

2015 saw about the normal amount of precipitation in our area

2015 saw about the normal amount of precipitation in our area

Last year was the warmest on record of the last 50 years, according to forecasters at the Southeast Fire Centre’s weather office in Castlegar.

The average annual temperature during 2015 was 10.2 degrees, barely edging out the 10.15 degree average temperature of 1998. Records for the Castlegar airport date back to 1966.

The total amount of precipitation for the year was 701.4 millimeters, which is 93 per cent of the normal 755.5 mm. The driest year on record is 1985 with only 479.5 mm.

As for last month, the total precipitation of 135.6 mm was 150 per cent of normal, while the average temperature was 1.4 degrees milder than normal.

“As is typical of December it was an eventful month as numerous Pacific systems pushed across southern BC,” wrote forecasters Ron Lakeman and Jesse Ellis in their monthly roundup of statistics.

The first half of the month was relatively mild and especially wet, with 112.6 mm of rain and wet snow recorded in the first 12 days. However, even with the almost 35 cm of snow that fell during that period, there was only a trace of snow on the ground by mid-month. A record daily high temperature of 10.5 degrees was set on the 9th. The coldest temperature was minus-8.9 degrees on the 17th.

In the second half of the month, temperatures were cooler and snow was still frequent but much lighter. The greatest daily amount was 11.6 cm on the 20th. The local snowpack was measured at 15 cm on New Year’s Eve.

The record for the most precipitation in December is 195.1 mm, set in 1996, of which 169.5 mm fell as snow. The driest year on record was 19.9 mm in 1985.

The warmest temperature ever recorded in December was 11.6 degrees on Dec. 27, 1980 and the coldest temperature was minus-30.6 on Dec. 30, 1968.