Records were broken over the weekend as a winter storm buried Cranbrook and surrounding communities in heavy snowfall with 58 centimetres of snow over the weekend.
According to an Environment Canada meteorologist, snowfall records from the 1930s were smashed on Sunday and Monday. Sunday saw 18.4 centimetres of snow while Monday had a whopping dump of 26.6 cm.
“It was really a multi-day event as well, daily records were being broken but it’s also the fact that there were several days in a row that kind of made it so extreme,” said Alyssa Charbonneau, with Environment Canada.
The old snowfall records were set in 1937 and 1933, at 7.6 cm and 20.3 cm, respectively.
The last extreme daily snowfall in February was 25.8 cm, which was set back on Feb. 15, 1986.
“Looking at the records as well, they measure the snow on the ground every day and it looks like today, they’re seeing the most snow on the ground recorded on Feb. 7 with 77 centimetres on the ground,” said Charbonneau.
On average, February snow depth is about 12 cm, she added.
It’s not like there is anything unusual about the weather pattern, Charbonneau added.
“We had conditions where we had a lot of cold Arctic air that had settled over the southern interior of B.C., then a low pressure system that cracked across the southern border so the moisture from that system combined with the really cold air made for very light, fluffy snow which can really accumulate quickly,” said Charbonneau.
“As well, just the track of that low and where it went, it also helped intensify the snowfall right over the Southeast [Interior] so Cranbrook and especially over in the Elk Valley and Sparwood, conditions were really favourable for a large amount of snowfall.”
While East Kootenay communities are frantically digging out, Charbonneau says the region will get a slight reprieve before more snow later this week.
Tomorrow [Wednesday] might be a little cloudy, but Wednesday night, going into Thursday, then we’re going to see another low track across the southern part of the province and bring snow again,” Charbonneau said, who is estimating Cranbrook could see another 10-15 cm on Thursday.