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October sees early shot of accumulating snow

Drivers also got an early message from Mother Nature more snow in one day than the total monthly average. — The Nelson Daily

The month of October surprised everyone with the first snowfall of the season said the Weather Services department at the Southeast Fire Centre.

The snowfall was just one of the weather events that saw a rollercoaster rise and fall of temperatures on the thermometer throughout the month.

“The most notable event of the month was the early shot of accumulating snow on October 23rd,” the Southeast Fire Centre media release said.

“This snowfall event was quite an anomaly — not only did it result in 9.5cm more snow in that one day than the total monthly average, but it was also one of the earliest occurrences of a significant accumulation.”

The Southeast Fire Centre said after the local airmass had been cooled below seasonal normals on October 21st & 22nd, a relatively small Pacific storm that tracked fairly quickly southeastward from the north end of Vancouver Island into Montana over a 24-hour period produced 11.4cm of snow locally.

The Southeast Fire Centre said during the last 20 years there have only been two other snowfall events exceeding 5cm (2009 and 2006, with 7.2cm both times).

The Southeast Fire Centre said overall during October a series of alternating ridges and troughs within the prevailing westerly flow led to a normal month in terms of the mean monthly temperature.

The Southeast Fire Centre said the number of days with measurable precipitation also fell quite close to normal — 13 days this year compared to the average of 12.

“Two daily precipitation records were broken during the more active frontal passages on October 10th (12.8mm of rain) and October 16th (16.4mm of rain),” the Southeast Fire Centre said.

“A dry northerly flow aloft downstream of a strong Pacific ridge helped support a push of colder & drier air into the area around the October 22nd to 26th.”

The Southeast Fire Centre said three daily minimum mean temperatures were broken during this period as well as one daily minimum temperature — minus 8.6 degrees during the early morning hours of October 25th broke the previous record of minus 7.3 set in 2002 (the record minimum temperature for October is minus 11.3 set in the same year).

The most notable event of the month was the early shot of accumulating snow on the 23rd. After the local airmass had been cooled below seasonal normals on the 21st & 22nd, a relatively small Pacific storm that tracked fairly quickly southeastward from the north end of Vancouver Island into Montana over a 24-hour period produced 11.4cm of snow locally.

This snowfall event was quite an anomaly - not only did it result in 9.5cm more snow in that one day than the total monthly average, but it was also one of the earliest occurrences of a significant accumulation.

Over the last twenty years there have only been two other snowfall events exceeding 5cm (2009 and 2006, with 7.2cm both times).

The Southeast Fire Centre said the record for the most snow in one day was set on Oct 25, 1975 with 12.7cm - a mere 1.3cm more than what was seen this year.