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Local area grain farmers with legitimate concerns about the weather’s affect on harvest this fall, but memories of the region which fall short of fifty years, take heart.

As difficult as the pesky showers have made it to get the crops off this year, especially the Canola crop, it could be a lot worse.

Today marks the 58th anniversary of the end of a major, multi-record October snowstorm, in the Fort St. John area.

When it was over, it resulted in an October extreme snow depth record, which still stands today: 61 cm – or two feet.

As for snowfall, the local airport weather station had also posted another one day October record of 34.5 cm, on the 4th, and then 22.6 more on the 5th.

That followed 15.3 on the first three days of the month, and it was the beginning of a very wet month.

With 13.2 cm on the 20th, 10.4 on the 30th, – and 13.5 mm of rain on the 29th, by the time the kids are trick or treating, the airport station had posted these totals:

  • Snowfall: 97.6 cm
  • Rainfall: 27 mm
  • Total Precipitation: 124.6 mm

The rainfall total was double the local area norm for October. The precipitation total was four times the monthly average – and snowfall total was five times the October norm.

Since it was 1957 – more than a decade before demand for rapeseed dropped and Canadian scientists developed a crop which has become synonymous with the Peace Region rather than growing it – it’s safe to assume many farmers in this area were then thinking about growing rice.

However, climate change has been around for a long time, and locally 30.8 mm, not 124.6, is the October precipitation norm – so you can look for harvest operations to likely continue this month.

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