Cooler temperatures and snow on the higher peaks in the area are a reminder that October means  winter tires or chains are required when travelling over B.C. highways. Dylan Hornseth

Cooler temperatures and snow on the higher peaks in the area are a reminder that October means winter tires or chains are required when travelling over B.C. highways. Dylan Hornseth

Month warmer than normal for Trail area

Despite the recent chill in the air, September was warmer than average.

With the chill in the air the last few weeks, it may feel like winter is coming early, but in fact September was warmer than normal according to local forecaster Ron Lakeman.

“It might surprise people that the mean monthly temperature averaged to be 1.8 degrees warmer than normal,” he said.

“To a large degree this is because overnight temperatures were a good three degrees milder than normal.”

Lakeman attributes the warmer evenings to the heavy cloud cover and lingering low pressure systems.

The hottest days of the month came early, with a high of 32.3 C on Sept. 2 but didn’t near the record high of 36.8 C on Sept. 3, 10 years ago.

With highs of 30 C and lows of 11 C, the warmest average temperatures of 20.3 and 20.9 were set mid-month, followed by a cold snap that brought cooler temperatures and a double dousing of rain during the last two weeks.

“Numerous Pacific coastal disturbances produced frequent rain,” explained Lakeman. “We shifted from summer to fall on the 15th and didn’t follow the solar equinox in the sense that fall wasn’t supposed to begin until the 22nd .”

Thunder and lightning brought not only rain, but a power outage to almost 3,000 homes on the 16th followed by more than 80 per cent of the total rainfall and only three rain-free days before month end. A vigorous thunderstorm on the 28 produced 21.4 mm of rain, which is a new record maximum for that date.

Normal rainfall for September is 42.6 mm but last month, 91.4 mm was recorded, making it the wettest on record since 2004, and the third wettest since local records began in 1966.

Cooler temperatures are expected to prevail until Thursday, when the majority of the valley may experience its first frost, said Lakeman. After that, a hint of summer may peak through the clouds with the return of a high pressure system next week. “To have a fall summer, first there has to be frost, then a brief comeback of sunny weather. “And there is potential for a little more summer.”

The white peaks in Rossland, don’t mean that snow will fall in the valley anytime soon, said Lakeman. “I wouldn’t expect snow in the valleys.” he said. “But we could see five to 10 cm over the mountains by Sunday night.”

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