Tuesday’s snowfall beats record set 118 years ago

The 8.4 centimetres of snowfall on Tuesday was nearly twice the usual total for the whole month

Tuesday’s snowstorm came in cold and quick and brought with it a shocking 8.4 centimetres of snow that afternoon, breaking a daily record for snowfall going all the way back to 1901.

In fact, just to put it in comparison the Canadian Rockies International Airport usually records about 3.8 centimetres for the entire month of October, so we got nearly twice the normal amount for the month in just one afternoon. Both the Kimberley and Fernie ski hills picked up 20 centimetres with the cold front.

This was all due to a cold, aggressive cold front that pushed through the East Kootenay, a stark contrast to the sunny skies experienced here over the weekend just a couple short days prior, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Matt McDonald.

“We started the day off at 4 C and the temperature dropped throughout the day to reach -2 C by 5 p.m.” McDonald said. “Initially, it started off as showers, but with that cold front pushing through it switched over to snow by about 1 p.m.”

After a gorgeous weekend, temperatures plunged with the cold front and have stayed low. On Wednesday the high was just 0.9 C, whereas normal highs for this time of year are 14 C. Wednesday night dropped down to -9.3 C, well below the average of 0.

Over the next few days, temperatures will bounce back slightly, with sunshine and the daytime highs gradually climbing, however they will hover around the 6 to 7 C range, well below normal for this time of year, so this cold stretch is not over yet.

“We have a weak system that’s going to push through on Sunday afternoon through Sunday night and we’ll probably see a couple centimetres of wet snow with that one,” McDonald said. “So anyone who’s planning on travelling this Thanksgiving weekend, we’re not expecting a major snowfall here, but be prepared for a little bit more snow perhaps.”

October 1 marked the beginning date for mandatory snow tires, and McDonald reiterated this point, saying, “It’s not just about the snow — the all-season tires, they don’t work quite as well in these cold temperatures.”

Thursday saw a low of -7 C with a low of -4 C for Friday night, so the temperatures are certainly something to consider. He also recommended winterizing your house if you haven’t already done so. Turn off those outside taps and store the hoses for winter.

On the heels of the Townsman’s interview with McDonald came a release from Mainroad Communications, highlighting the importance of being prepared for the unpredictability of fall and winter.

“Please don’t wait until weather conditions deteriorate,” read the release. “Whether you’re driving across town, or across the Province, it’s important that you and your vehicle are prepared for winter driving conditions.”

Mainroad provided five actions for drivers to take to help reduce the risk of a winter driving crash.

First, prepare yourself and your vehicle for the winter conditions now. As Tuesday’s snowfall demonstrated, winter conditions can pop out of nowhere. Don’t want until snow, black ice, heavy rain, longer periods of darkness have already hit, make sure your car is ready now. Equip winter tires, and get a pre-season maintenance check up done.

Also make sure to have a set of first-aid supplies and a winter survival kit. More information on building a complete winter survival kit can be found at www.shiftintowinter.ca

Number two on the list is to determine whether driving for work is necessary. If you’re able to complete your work through email, conference calls, online meetings, courier or public transit, it’s something to consider. Obviously not a possibility for everyone.

Next up, always check road and weather conditions on www.drivebc.ca to assess whether it is safe to drive or not. Sometimes cancelling or rescheduling a trip is better than risking an unsafe drive on the highway.

Always plan your trip ahead. Plan the safest route, make sure you know about alternate routes in case of closures or inclement conditions. Plan time for rest breaks and never drive if you’re is fatigued. Winter driving requires complete alertness and focus.

And five on the list is to simply drive safely. Slow down, remember the posted speed limit is the maximum speed allowed under ideal conditions.

“Drivers have a legal responsibility to drive according to the conditions, which often means driving below the posted speed limit,” Mainroad explains. “Reducing your speed will allow you more time to react to hazards such as black ice or pedestrians at intersections.”

Other driving tips to consider is to maintain a safe following distance as it takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Keep plenty of distance between you and other cars, at least four seconds worth. Also consider winter driving training if you’re unsure how to handle braking safely and getting out of a skid.



paul.rodgers@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Vintage vehicles, costumed drivers cruise Fernie streets

Wheels in the Valley hosted their first ever Rally in the Valley event this past Saturday

Food conditioned black bear destroyed in Elk Valley

The bear was destroyed by the Conservation Officer Service on June 28

Elkford students plant trees as part of reclamation project

The students planted over 200 trees throughout the community

Elk Valley wildlife conservation projects receive funding

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation announced $9.2 million in funding across the province

Registration opens for Fernie Writers Conference

The conference will take place from August 17-23 and will feature several accomplished authors

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

VIDEO: Trio of orphaned Alberta grizzly bear cubs find new home at Vancouver zoo

The Alberta cubs’ mother was killed by hunters and would have otherwise been euthanized, zoo says

Most Read