West Kootenay February snow totals double usual rate

Environment Canada has issued a warning for West Kootenay as up to 20cm of snow is expected to fall in the region over the next 2 days.

March is coming in like a lion, so hopefully it will be out like a lamb.

Environment Canada has issued a snow fall warning for the West Kootenay in the early stages of March as up to 20 centimetres of snow is expected to fall in the region over the next two days.

The white stuff is coming as a low-pressure centre develops from a strong feed of moisture from the Pacific Ocean.

As precipitation intensity increases Monday, rain or rain mixed with snow could change entirely to snow overnight. As the cold front moves southeast this week, the snow will taper off gradually through the course of the late Monday morning or afternoon.

The new snow won’t yet match the massive amount the region saw last month, according to a monthly weather summary from the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar, as the West Kootenay packed in almost twice the average February snowfall at 61.7 cm. in 2011, compared to 33.7 cm. in 2010. The February record was 98 cm. in 1969.

Temperatures in February averaged out to exactly normal values at -.3 degrees C — with a high of 8C and a low of -13.7C — while the total amount of precipitation was 94 per cent of normal at 56.3 millimetres.

“The main exception to the normal conditions was the type of precipitation which occurred,” said Ron Lakeman in the report. “Mainly due to timing, the vast majority of it fell as snow.”

That was good news for Red Mountain Resort as they had 142 cm. fall in the past 13 days, according the resort’s website, with more expected to descend this week.

Around 86 per cent of last month’s total precipitation for the West Kootenay fell in a two-week period, mainly as snow, as a Pacific frontal system tracked across southern B.C. in the final two weeks of the month.

That Pacific frontal system dumped 19.7 cm. of snow during a 24-hour span beginning near 6 a.m. on Feb. 24, following that up four days later with the month’s coldest day at -13.7 C. Only one record was established for the month, however, as the 8.2 mm. of precipitation that fell on Feb. 29 was the most ever on a leap year day.