Snow not likely to fall in Victoria this winter

Dec. 28 and 29, 1996 are days most Victorians will never forget.

Dec. 28 and 29, 1996 are days most Victorians will never forget.

On those days 19 years ago, a total of 124 centimetres (48.8 inches) of snow fell on Victoria, setting an all time record.

The snow shut down the city and the army was called in to help dig out. Roofs collapsed and tree branches succumbed to the weight, causing widespread power outages throughout the region. Many were left stunned to see so much of the white stuff in a place that isn’t known for snow. It was the biggest snowstorm in 100 years.

Weather experts say it could happen again, but nothing has come close since then. According to Environment Canada Meteorologist Lisa Coldwells, the last major snowfall in Victoria was seven years ago when 35 cm fell on Dec. 21, 2008. Six days prior, the city received 13.6 cm of snow. Another 13.2 cm fell on Christmas Eve.

The last significant snowfall was in January 2014 when 20.6 cm floated down on the region, followed by two more snow days in February that had 13.6 cm, then another 16.7 cm on the ground.

Looking to the new year, Coldwells predicts there’s a very slim chance Victorians will see any of the white stuff this winter.

“To get snow, we have to have a combination of that cold air outflowing from the interior and the next Pacific rain storm coming in from the west,” she said, noting the coldest temperature ever recorded in Victoria was -15.6C on Jan. 28, 1950.

“It’s always a battle of who’s going to win? Does the cold air win and then the warm air rides over top or is there enough warm air and south westerly winds to push that cold air back into the mountains?”

Weather experts are expecting this year to be an extreme one with the arrival of La Nina and El Nino — a natural ocean temperature phenomenon that results in warmer than average coastal waters near the equator that move towards South America’s northern coast, then turn as far north as Haida Gwaii and Alaska.

Because the waters are warmer, levels are higher due to thermal expansion. Even the average winter storm can have a greater impact because of the higher ocean levels.

Coldwells, however, doesn’t expect to see the effects of El Nino until mid to late winter.

Up Island, the snow gods have been kind to skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts at Mount Washington. Since the beginning of December, the ski resort has received more than 300 cm of snow, making the Christmas season the snowiest in the past several years.

For the first time in two years, the resort recently opened its Outback terrain of 400 acres, which is designated as black diamond and double black diamond. The resort has also opened 55 km of Nordic trails and a tubing park.

“It’s a winter wonderland out here,” said resort spokesperson Sheila Rivers.

 

 

Just Posted

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Sexual assault charge dropped against from CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

Sentence handed down for sex assaults committed more than 30 years ago

Man in his 80s will serve a conditional sentence in the community

BC Ferries considers passenger only ferry between West Shore and Victoria

Royal Bay, Esquimalt and Ship Point considered as part of study into new route

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Most Read