Welcome to a blog that will give you unbiased snowfall predictions for the South Coast of B.C.
Chances have remained steady with the latest model runs (even increased slightly), and the inaugural snomometer has been developed for tracking snow threats for the South Coast of B.C.
10 point scale from 0 (no snow threat) to 10 (army assistance required). In brackets, I've included how many times a year this often is the case just to help perspective
0- sNOw chance. Sorry, not going to happen. (335-340 days/year)
1-2 Conversational Snow (5-10 times/yr)
- Typical conversational snow risk, and often local blogs will begin to highlight (i.e. build hype and generate revenue) these levels of snowfall risk
- This is at its core conversational snow and nothing more, for now...
- This isn't to say a significant event can come from a 1-2, and a high impact event with very low confidence will likely get a lower score
3-5 Nuisance Snow (4-5 times/year)
- The level of the snowmometer has long moved past the conversation around the water cooler and is dominating all local news sources
- Tire shops have been inundated by the locals rushing who vow never to join the summer tire club
- The first stage where you might see your helpless neighbour on bare all-seasons sliding his way along Boundary Rd.
- Buses to SFU may begin to struggle with the snow with thousands of students praying that classes may be cancelled or delayed
- NO snowfall warnings have been issued by Environment Canada with amounts generally less than 5 cm (locally higher)
6-7 Impactful Snow (1-2 times/year)
- Okay folks, we have medium-to-high confidence of some fairly significant snow for this neck of the woods (locally 10 cm+), but I necessarily wouldn't run to the store to buy milk and bread
- School delays are now likely for portions of Metro Vancouver (higher elevations) along with substantial transit delays
- Snowfall warnings are likely issued or will be issued by Environment Canada
8-9 Crippling Snowfall (2-3 times/decade)
- A once in 5-10 year snow event for the South Coast with significant amounts 30 cm+ forecasted
- may become especially treacherous with warming temperatures, localized flooding and intense ponding on roadways as storm drains are clogged with snow
- Numbers at or above this value will not be used lightly, and may never be used during the life of this blog
10 - #SNomg #Snowmageddon (2-3 times/Century)
- Only one or two analog exists, including the Blizzard of 1996 in Victoria, BC.
- Lack of transportation, significant structural damage and accumulations in excess of 50 cm+
Before ending this post I want to take a closer look at the impending cold, and without a cold airmass in place, we typically won't see snow.
Sometimes meteorologists will use the 1000-500mb thickness and came up with a magic 540 dm to denote R/S, which works fairly well for continental climates.
#YVR, needs this thickness even smaller, especially with the Pacific Ocean in close proximity
Specific Vancouver snow events were plotted above and the thickness is tyically needed to be less than 530 to see snowfall, depending on the amount of outflow coming from the Fraser Valley.
Current 1000-500 mb thickness forecast gives us about a 4-5 day window of the possibility of snow, although the atmosphere is looking quite dry as of now, some wet flurries may be possible Friday evening for portions of the South Coast, with a larger more synoptic scale event early next week. This isn't a steadfast rule for snow, as low level flow plays an important role in determining precipitation type for the South Coast.