FILE — You were not imagining things — there was A LOT of snow this winter. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Winter snowfall ‘fifth greatest amount on record’

A very cold March brought twice the amount of snow than usual for this time of year.

A very cold March brought twice the amount of snow than usual for this time of year.

Precipitation as a whole was normal, but 31 centimetres (cm) of snowfall recorded was more than double the usual 13 cm for March.

“The large-scale pattern alternated between a broad upper trough and a cool northwesterly flow during the majority of the month,” forecaster Jesse Ellis, from Castlegar’s Southeast Fire Centre, explained in his month-end report.

“Resulting in lower than normal temperatures and a greater fraction of the month’s precipitation falling as snow.”

The most significant storm passed through the area the night of March 7 and brought 11 cm of snow, which turned to another 7 cm of rain by the following afternoon.

The next largest single-day snowfall event produced 7 cm of snow on March 24.

The coldest day of the month was March 10, when the mercury dipped to -7.7 C.

“High pressure helped bring clear skies above the ridge tops and extensive low cloud and fog failed to develop below,” Ellis explained. “This falls well short of the record low of -16.5 degrees set in 2009. “

Sunny skies and a well-mixed atmosphere brought the warmest day of the month, 15 C, on Good Friday.

However, that temperature also fell short of the record high, which was 23.1 degrees from 2004.

As of the end of March, the Castlegar office recorded a total of 309 cm of snowfall this winter.

This is the most that have been seen in the area since the winter of 1996/97 when 450 cm fell, Ellis noted.

“And this is the fifth-greatest amount on record.”

The highest amount of snowfall still remains 490.5 cm from the winter of 1969.

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