February shatters daily cold record

February was unseasonably dry and cold, culminating in a bizarre dose of winter at the end of the month, which saw the thermometer plummet.

On Feb. 25, the temperature dropped to -19.7 C at the Castlegar Airport, an all-time low for that day, the next closest being -14.8 C back in 1993.

“The month began with a modified Arctic air mass and cold temperatures, but the coldest temperatures of the month were experienced with another Arctic outbreak between the 24th and 26th,” said Southeast Fire Centre forecaster Ron Lakeman.

The mean monthly temperature was also 2.2 degrees lower than normal and the coldest since 1993.

Due to a Pacific frontal system, 13 centimetres of snow dumped Feb. 6, combined with another 29 cm and 10.4 millimetres of rain that resulted in a combined total precipitation of 36.8 mm or 61 per cent of normal.

Almost 575 hours of sunlight shone on the region, up from the 518-hour average, and the hottest temperature, also a record, reached 9.8 C on the 12.

What was odd is that it did not register during the day.

“The warmest temperature was unique in that it occurred overnight, largely due to gusty winds from the south.”

Weather records for Castlegar date back to 1966.