A Brush With Snow, Plus a Doozy of an Incoming System!

February Snow Contest Winner: 

Brian S. 

Thank you to the over 50 entries, but unfortunately none came even remotely close (no offence) to the correct amounts, so a random number generator was instead to even the playing field.

Who would have thought Portland would have received nearly 20 cm of snow in February!?

February snow totals:

  • YVR 1 cm (accumulated)
  • SEA: ~Trace
  • PDX: 18.5 cm 

Now, I have another contest in mind, some sort of a forecast guarantee that will keep me honest. Just to get into the swing if things I'll probably start with a +/- 3C for YVR maximum temps in the coming weeks.

To sign-up, I'll add a sign-up button to the side bar. Simple as that. I botch a forecast, you win a t-shirt. 

It's that easy. 


So, who was surprised to see flakes today? 

It turns out, sometimes when there's cold air aloft...and surface temps well above zero, snowflakes can still reach the surface if precipitation is heavy enough...

Pretty nifty.

The temperature at the base of the clouds was below zero and as the snow melted, an energy exchange took place between the melting snow and the surrounding air. Remember, it takes energy to melt snowflakes into rain, so it 'takes' energy from the atmosphere, dropping the temperature and bringing the freezing level closer to the surface.

Quite often, it takes several hundred metres of above zero temperatures to melt a snowflake into plain old rain.

Resilient snowflakes today!

As precipitation moved in, the wet bulb temperature was above zero by a couple degrees C

As precipitation moved in, the wet bulb temperature was above zero by a couple degrees C

Our Next Beast (System)

Next low pressure system ready to influence British Columbia as a strengthening low is near peak intensity, before a gradual weakening at landfall around central Vancouver Island late Wednesday/early Thursday. Purple: Occluded Front Blue: Cold Front Red: Warm Front

Next low pressure system ready to influence British Columbia as a strengthening low is near peak intensity, before a gradual weakening at landfall around central Vancouver Island late Wednesday/early Thursday.

Purple: Occluded Front Blue: Cold Front Red: Warm Front

Projected Track(s) 

Won's be a huge wind event for Thursday morning, more for open waters and down around Portland. This storm will begin to rapidly weaken once it crosses 130W, so power outages are not anticipated 

Won's be a huge wind event for Thursday morning, more for open waters and down around Portland. This storm will begin to rapidly weaken once it crosses 130W, so power outages are not anticipated 

QPF (Quantitative Precipitation Forecast)

GEM model QPF for the next 72 hours ending early Friday morning. Vancouver, thinking 50-70 mm for the next 3 days is a reasonable number. GEM showing up to 8 inches or yes, 20 cm of rain. Unbelievable totals for 72 hours. High stream advisories  will likely be issued by the River Forecast Centre. Bonus: Spot the Olympic Rain Shadow

GEM model QPF for the next 72 hours ending early Friday morning. Vancouver, thinking 50-70 mm for the next 3 days is a reasonable number. GEM showing up to 8 inches or yes, 20 cm of rain. Unbelievable totals for 72 hours. High stream advisories  will likely be issued by the River Forecast Centre. Bonus: Spot the Olympic Rain Shadow

 Mountain Snows

Campbell River, don't be overly surprised if you see a few wet cm's Wednesday morning, before the system changes to rain... There, you've been warned. Note the healthy snows forecasted for the Whistler region. 

Campbell River, don't be overly surprised if you see a few wet cm's Wednesday morning, before the system changes to rain... There, you've been warned. Note the healthy snows forecasted for the Whistler region. 

Freezing Level

Some rumours going around of extremely high freezing levels this week. Here's an estimation for Mount Washington (spotwx). Freezing level expected to hover at or below 1500 metres for most of the week with snow levels being at least 200-300 metres lower than these values. 

Some rumours going around of extremely high freezing levels this week. Here's an estimation for Mount Washington (spotwx). Freezing level expected to hover at or below 1500 metres for most of the week with snow levels being at least 200-300 metres lower than these values. 

If freezing levels hold constant, and no spikes, Mt. Washington and Whistler could be in for between 50-100 cm of snow of fresh new powder this week, but I'd be more comfortable if the freezing level dropped a couple hundred metres lower, so this will have to be watched closely, especially for the local hills.

I think it will be a R/S snow mix for most of the North Shore resorts this week, with the exception of Whistler. Snow level will fluctuate between 1200-1400 metres for the North Shore Mountains, and then spike to nearly 2000 metres on the weekend.

#50ShadesofVan