No ‘white’ Christmas in the local forecast

Most people in the West Kootenay will not wake up to a white Christmas on Dec. 25.

Most people in the West Kootenay will not wake up to a white Christmas on Dec. 25, according to predictions from the region’s weather service.

The Southeast Fire Centre’s Ron Lakeman said the dry winter weather that has settled into the area will continue through Christmas and into early next week, ruining people’s plans for a “white” Christmas.

Only six centimetres of the white stuff have graced the ground of Trail and area this month, far below the average of 54 cm. for snow, and 29 millimetres of rain (80 mm. of total precipitation).

“A white Christmas is usually a sure thing in the West Kootenay, but not this year,” Lakeman said.

Due to an area of high pressure — the more dominant weather feature of the last three weeks — December has been relatively tame, said Lakeman.

There are some weak weather systems coming in for the next few days, and expectation is a few flurries but only a small amount of snow. The next dump is expected Saturday, with one or two cm. of snow.

But for a Trail to qualify as having a white Christmas, Environment Canada must note at least two centimetres (0.79 inches) of snow on the ground at 7 a.m. on Dec. 25.

Most Canadians will not wake up to a white Christmas on December 25 for the first time since Canada’s weather office began recording snowfalls in 1955. The forecast for the coming days across the nation is sunny and very mild.

This month has been on average six to seven degrees (Celsius) warmer than normal and most snow that has fallen has melted soon after hitting the ground.

Gander, Newfoundland — usually “the snowiest place in Canada” — only has a trace of snow on the ground Wednesday.

“Some areas of the West Kootenay will definitely be on the white side while other areas will be more lacking,” he said. “But there could be a real change in the weather pattern by Wednesday next week.”

That will be the first signal of a dominant ridge of high pressure, the harbinger of the real meat of winter descending on the Kootenays, said Lakeman, with more significant snowfall on the way.