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December brings colder and snowier than usual weather to West Kootenay

Snowfall was 18 per cent above average in Dec. 2022
December brought lots of snow to the Castlegar area. Photo: Jennifer Small

Snow and below-average temperatures were the norm in the West Kootenay during December 2022.

Several records were set at the Southeast Fire Centre’s weather station at the Castlegar airport during the month.

A daily minimum temperature record was tied on Dec. 22 at -20.8.

Two new minimum daily mean temperatures (the average between the day’s maximum and minimum temperatures) were broken Dec. 19 and 22.

The mean monthly temperature was 2.6 degrees cooler than average.

The lowest recorded temperature of the month was -21.4 before sunrise on Dec. 23 as partly clear skies and easing winds coincided with one of the longest nights of the year, allowing for more prolonged cooling.

That all shifted the next day when a maritime air mass pushed in from the southwest as precipitation changed from snow to freezing rain to rain.

While freezing rain made up part of the total 20.4 mm of rain on Dec. 26 forecaster Jesse Ellis says this was probably the greatest one-day rainfall event for this location in over a year.

Mild temperatures with precipitation each day continued through to the end of the month.

Total precipitation for the month was about 10 per cent above normal. Total snowfall for the month was 76.6 cm, about 18 per cent above average.

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