Fall 2017 was Fort St. John’s second-snowiest and wettest ever

Snowfall accumulations along 100th Ave. on November 15th. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The months of September, October, and November had the most precipitation on record in Fort St. John.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan, the total amount of all types of precipitation recorded at the North Peace Airport in the last three months came in at 223.9 millimetres. The normal amount over that time is 104.7 mm, which means 213 percent more rain and snow fell in Fort St. John this year.

Breaking things down month by month, Castellan said that September saw a slightly above normal amount of precipitation, with 53.8 mm of rain and snow in that month. However, he said things took a drastic turn in the latter half of October, starting with the near-record snowfall the night of October 24th, when 55 centimetres fell in Fort St. John over the course of roughly 12 hours.

Overall, the 59.3 centimetres of snow in October was 303 percent higher than the average of 19.6 centimetres in that month. November continued that story, as the monthly total of 92.3 cms of snow was the 2nd-highest ever in Fort St. John, falling just shy of November 1995, when 99.1 centimetres fell at the airport. The amount of precipitation in November was also 310 percent higher than normal. The total amount of 151.6 cms of snow that fell in October and November also ranks Fall 2017 as the 2nd-snowiest ever in Fort St. John.

In terms of temperatures, Castellan said that Fort St. John saw a slightly chillier than normal fall, but that this year was nowhere close to record-setting.

Looking forward into December, Castellan said that the current ridge of high pressure sitting over the province is expected to keep things warm here for up to two weeks when the weak La Niña pattern of colder, wetter weather returns in January and February. He added that such high-pressure ridges usually show up roughly every three to four years, with the last two occurrences in October 2013 and January 2009.

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