Double the snowfall, minus the backache

There's been more snow this year than other years and it hasn't fallen in huge dumps.

Compared to last year, a year

known for three massive dumps of

snow that practically shutdown the

community, this year residents have

had for the most part a break from

backbreaking shovelling.

There hasn’t been a lot of heavy

snowfalls this winter but there has

been significant snowfall, an area

meteorologist said.

Although Keremeos doesn’t

have a dedicated weather station,

Lisa Coldwells, meteorologist,

from Environment Canada was able

to pull relative data that shows the

amount of snow that’s fallen in the

first half of January is more than

double the amount that on average

falls in the first month of the year.

Data collected at the Princeton

weather station shows that 97millimetres

of precipitation has fallen

between January 1 and Tuesday

morning. The average is 40-mm.

Because Keremeos tends to be

a bit warmer temperature wise than

Princeton precipitation levels are

expected to be slightly less but still

significant.

“Almost all the precipitation

has fallen as snow because we’ve

been experiencing below freezing

temperatures for almost all of the

month,” she said.

“It’s good because as it falls as

snow it’s going to stay there as it

melts. As we’re moving into spring

it’s going to be slow melting so it

continually recharges the soil and

that’s what we want.”

Temperatures over the last few

months for the most part have been

pretty average, but that is expected

to slightly change.As this is an El

Nino year the average temperature

between the middle of January and

middle of February is expected to

be a degree or two higher.

“It doesn’t mean every day is

going to be warmer. You might

have a little blast of Arctic air and

it’s colder or maybe some south

westerly winds and it’s warmer but

on average if we take the daily high

and low and average it, it’ll be a

few degrees warmer than when it’s

not an El Nino year,” she said.

An El Nino is caused by a river

of warm ocean water that runs

along the equator. As the season

progresses it switches weather patterns.

Although the El Nino won’t play

a roll in how much precipitation

there is for the rest of the winter, it

will determine how it falls.

“If overall temperatures are

slightly warmer… there will be rain

in the valley bottoms and rain heading

up the mountain. That’s a disadvantage

because snow melts slowly

and comes down the mountain as

it melts where rain just runs right

down,” she said.

So, the moral of the story – don’t

wait to get out there and enjoy the

snow or you’ll be making a mud

man instead of snowman.