Say it ain’t snow! Early winter blast expected for Kootenays

It’s going to look like winter, and feel like winter, as Arctic air meets a wet coastal system

Winter is coming. And likely a lot sooner than you think.

Two weather systems will meet south of the border this weekend, bringing snow and freezing temperatures to high mountain passes in the Kootenays that may extend to the valley bottoms.

“The pattern is difficult to say how it is going to play out, and the computer models are unresolved in local details,” says Ron Lakeman, a weather forecaster with the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar. “But everything is pointing to an unseasonably cool air mass moving in.”

It’s a pattern that’s more common in November, says Lakeman.

A high-pressure mass of modified Arctic air is moving this way from the north and east, so will likely enter the Kootenays from Alberta, he says. That’s going to combine with a typical fall low (wet weather) system from the coast. The two will clash over Washington state.

“Things are going to change drastically,” says Lakeman. “It’s basically Friday night to Saturday morning we see temperatures dropping, likely precipitation and a dropping snow level. So the debate is where will the snow level drop, and where will the precipitation actually fall in the form of snow.”

Lakeman says the East Kootenay looks to be the most likely recipient of valley bottom snow.

If it does happen, it should melt instantly, says Lakeman, but it will have broken a long record.

“It’s not to say it hasn’t happened before, but we only have one instance of it ever snowing to the valley bottom locally in September,” says the Castlegar-based forecaster. “It was back in 1972, we had a trace in the month of September.”

Just to add to the joy, Lakeman says it’s likely going to be a windy day on Saturday, with the possibility of wind chill making things even more miserable.

A lot depends on the cloud cover. If the skies clear after the rain, it will likely go below zero in many locations on Sunday and Monday.

Road crews ready, gardeners not so much

Road maintenance crews are getting ready for the first blast on the highways.

“We’ve been prepared for winter for a few weeks,” said an employee at Yellowhead Road and Bridge, which has the maintenance contract for the Kootenays. “We’re geared up and ready to go for this weekend, the crews scheduled have been informed.”

The news of the impending frost and snow has gardeners battening down the hatches.

“The end is near!” said one poster on Farm the Kootenays, a Facebook group.

“We picked our [tomatoes] today, I do not want them to get too cold on the vine,” added another.

While many vegetables — cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli — can take some cold, other plants are going to get wiped out by the cold temperatures. Kiss your cucumbers and watermelons goodbye.

Other gardeners are hoping tarps and plastic sheets will stave off the early frost, holding out for a nice weather break in October.

It could be worse — you could be in Alberta. There, snow showers are forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

High-mountain passes will likely see some snow fall on the weekend. Drive safely! File photo.

Just Posted

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

Trail council bumps up pay

Yearly pay increase corresponds with Collective Agreement of municipal employees

Free tax return program returns to Greater Trail

The free service has been offered to low income households in the Trail area for 10+ years

Trail Smoke Eaters wrap regular season vs Silverbacks and Cents

The Trail Smoke Eaters look to tie franchise points record in final BCHL weekend

Trail Walmart employees donate to regional hospital

Money will be directed into surgical services project

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Most Read