From one extreme to another, B.C. saw a whirlwind of weather in 2012.
The province started the year with a snowy winter followed by a mild start to spring, then an extremely wet June, very dry summer and wet fall.
It was the spring showers that proved to be the most extreme – ranking third in Environment Canada’s top 10 weather stories for the country.
“No. 3 was the flooding, which I called larger, longer and lethal,” said Environment Canada’s senior climatologist David Phillips (who ranks the top weather stories of the year).
“We saw a near record snowmelt and runoff,” said meteorologist Matt MacDonald, adding that June’s rainfall was approximately 200 per cent above average.
The combination of water coming from the mountains and sky caused creek and river banks to spill, wreaking havoc across the province.
“They were sandbagging from one end of the province to the other,” said Phillips. “Because it affected so many people I ranked it as one of the top stories.”
Spring was followed by a near drought summer (the driest August/September on record for Kelowna), but the dry spell didn’t last long.
“In the fall we had precipitation come back with a vengeance,” said meteorologist Doug Lundquist, noting that Penticton received nearly 500 millimeters of rain in 2012 (the normal is 300 mm).
“So it was an interesting year depending on where you lived in the province.”
In Vernon, the winter so far has been warmer than average.
The coldest the region got was -14 Sunday/Monday. By today (Friday) the forecast is calling for a high of six degrees and three for Saturday.
Lundquist says it should remain mild for the remainder of the month, but the seasonal forecast is calling for a dip in the mercury for February, March and April.
“There’s a high probability it will be colder than average…but I don’t put a lot of reliability in that,” said Lundquist.
Snowfall to date has also been above average.
The Vernon area has received 53 centimeters of snow so far this year.
“The normal snowfall amount for Vernon for the month of January is 33 centimeters so we’re 20 ahead and there’s still time to go yet,” said Lundquist.