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Recent Atmospheric River Contributed To One Of The Wettest January’s On Record

Fraser Valley – Yes Virginia, that was ONE OF THE wettest January on record.

This latest Atmospheric River or Pineapple Express was one for the books according to Environment Canada’s Roger Pannett.

For January 31/20 :- 65.2 mm ( Storm total 84.6 mm)
Previous record 42.4 mm in 1924.

January 2020 total @ 361.4mm. 37 % above normal.
Wettest January since 2011 @ 387.7 mm.

(Wettest January on record, 545.3 mm. in 1953.
Wettest January day on record 119.6 mm on January 4th , 1914. )

Then there was the hail on February 1 – Intermittent hail during a 30 minutes span around 9:40PM. Up to 10mm in size with slight accumulation.


January 2020

Data recorded by Roger Pannett, Volunteer Weather Observer for Environment Canada at Chilliwack, B.C.

Variable January 2020 30 Year Average
Mean Maximum 5.07 C 4.4 C
Mean Minimum -0.08 C -1.5 C
Mean Temperature 2.49 C 1.5 C
Rainfall 290.6 mm 210.9 mm
Snowfall 70.8 cm 52.8 cm
Total Precipitation 361.4 mm 263.7 mm
Days of Rain 23 days 15 days
Days of Snow 9 day 7 days
Total Days of Precipitation 30 days 19 days
Frosts 9 18
Relative humidity average 80.58 %

The mild & wet conditions in late December continued into the New Year with record high temperatures on January 1st & January 3rd.

Date New Record Previous Record.

January 1st High Max 13.5⁰C (+10.2⁰C) 12.5⁰C in 1981.

January 1st High Mean 9.65⁰C (+8.75⁰C) 8.8⁰C in 1963.

January 3rd High Max 15.0⁰C (+11.6⁰C) 14.5 ⁰C in 1984.

During the first week of the month a series of intense Pacific low-pressure systems invaded the Province producing rain, heavy at times. Prior to mid-month an Arctic air mass pushed southwards. On the evening of January 12th , with the passage of the Arctic front, wet snow transitioned to blizzard like conditions and plummeting temperatures. For the next 6 days sub-zero temperatures, snow flurries & drifting snow prevailed. The bitter cold -11⁰C (14.6⁰C below normal), plus wind chill, on January 14th was the coldest day since the -11.5⁰C recorded on December 28th ,1996. On January 15th, the low of -13.3⁰C (11.5⁰C below normal), with a wind chill at -22⁰C, was the coldest Chilliwack temperature since the low of -14⁰C on January 18th,2012.

On January 19th, an approaching Pacific storm ushered in a return to mild and very wet conditions. A, ‘Parade of Pacific weather systems,’ produced periods of rain and /or showers every day to months end. On January 31st, a category 4, ‘Atmospheric river,’ produced a record rainfall of 65.2 mm with strong & very mild gusty winds raising the temperature to 14.2⁰C (9.3 ⁰C above normal). The previous record rainfall for the day was 42.4 mm in 1924.

With mean temperatures 0.99°C above normal, since 1997,only January 2008 & 2017 had below temperatures.

With rainfall 37% above normal and snowfall 34% above normal it was the wettest January since 2011 and the snowiest since 2012.

On January 31st, in Chilliwack, T sum was at 127.1 compared to the 30-year average of 37.1

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