Winter storm unusual, but not unprecedented

A snowy sidewalk in Fort St. John from @fsjchic on Twitter

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The blast of winter that made Easter weekend look more like Christmas this year might have been close to a record-breaker, but it wasn’t entirely unprecedented.

Meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau with Environment Canada says that between April 13th and April 15th, 49.6 centimetres of snow fell at the the North Peace Airport weather station, with an additional 8.4 cm of accumulation on Monday. In total, 58 cms of snow has fallen at the airport this month, which is over four times April’s average snowfall of 12.7 cms. While there were at least 20 centimetres of snow that fell on two days over the weekend, the amounts of snow are still not enough to top the single-day snowfall record amount for April. On April 14th, 2002, 28.2 centimetres of the white stuff fell in the Energetic City.

Charbonneau says that Spring is already shaping up to be much wetter than usual, with March seeing a total of 36.9 millimetres of precipitation at the airport, compared to the norm of 23.7 mm. So far in April, 58.2 mm of both rain and snow has fallen at YXJ, nearly three times the average of 20.0 mm.

Charbonneau says that cooler Arctic air is forecast to stick around the Peace until early next week, when a return to more seasonal temperatures is forecast to occur.

Charbonneau added however that snow in the later months of Spring is also a possibility. She says that the anniversary of the all-time snowfall record in Fort St. John is actually coming up. On May 22nd, 1960, 47.7 centimetres of snow fell at the North Peace Airport.