Thursday, December 31, 2009
Unfortunately we could have gone just one more day before a nasty Arctic outflow wind hit last night and dropped the temperature to -5 C and upped the wind speed to 30-40 km/h all day. Oh well it's better than the 94 km/h gusts recorded at Cathedral Point down in lovely Burke Channel at 3 PM. Enjoy your New Year's Eve. Grizzly
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Today brought more good weather, although there was the lightest dusting of snow in the middle valley area, just barely enough to make things look frosty, but -1 to +1 C was the order of the day again. Grizzly
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
After so many days of wind, dry and no new snow, the seed dispersal mechanisms of the larger trees are in full swing. Everywhere you look the Red Alder, Douglas Fir and Paper Birch tree seeds have blown and collected in low spots. This nice little collection of seeds and seed bracts was in the foot depression of very old Grizzly Bear tracks in the snow. I think whatever seeds don't get eaten or blown further afield into some unfriendly environment will have a good chance at starting in the spring when it comes.
It dropped to -6 C tonight and still no wind, although Cathedral Point down in Burke Channel has been pretty steady on the outflow wind at 50 km/h and some gusts to 60 km/h. Grizzly
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
It was very peaceful day in Bella Coola, with a bit of pink sunrise sky this morning, mostly grey, but bright and only -2 C in the morning and just above freezing this evening. A perfect day. Grizzly
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Not much to say about the weather though, more of the same - 3 or -4 C in the morning, warming up to just below 0, cooling back down tonight and high non threatening clouds. A fine Christmas eve. Grizzly
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Lots of animal tracks in the fresh skiff of snow we got on Sunday - the snowpack is hard enough in the areas of the valley with a measurable snowpack (mostly east of Snootli Creek), that even the deer can walk on the top. Wolf, Fox and Marten tracks were all abundant during a sortie around the woods today.
Today's photo is the winter version of the Devil's Club plant I mentioned yesteday, this is the business end of the plant, just to give you an idea of what the spines look like under all those beautiful summer leaves. Grizzly
Monday, December 21, 2009
In case you are thinking about other latitudes to be in, here's a list of places you could be in Canada today and experience more or less daylight hours. The times are based on official sunrise/sunset calculations posted at the Environment Canada weather web page for each site and I believe they are a calculation based on a fairly flat horizon. Sunrise in Bella Coola today was 8:35, but even with a bit of cloud cover it was light enough to see shortly after 8 AM. Enjoy winter. Grizzly
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Late last night a light snow whisked around the valley, but except for the Nusatsum Bridge 'snow hole' where there was about 3 cm, the rest of the valley barely received 1 cm. Not a bad day though with the temperature tonight in the - 6 C range. Grizzly
Monday, December 14, 2009
Burke Channel is a beauty tonight though, -6 C and sustained winds of 90 km/h with gusts to 107 km/h - nice. Grizzly
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The morning started out with just the slightest of snow flurries, which wasn’t enough to even show up in some areas. Again no wind until later this evening and a little outflow wind started. Environment Canada says we are in for another Arctic outflow. Got some outdoor machinery maintenance accomplished today and it was quite pleasant, better than the -54o C wind chill they are experiencing in the Fort McMurray, Alta area tonight. I chatted with a relative working in that area this evening and they were limited to 10 minutes at a time outdoors today, very tough conditions. The temperature is barely -2o C this evening in the Bella Coola Valley. Grizzly
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It was -7o C in the morning to -4o C in the evening with no wind. There was a high cloud most of the day which looked threatening and like it wanted to snow, but nothing really materialized. North Bentinck Arm, the inlet which terminates at the town site of Bella Coola, was flat glassy calm this afternoon, looked like a good day to try fishing for winter Chinook, but no one out there. Grizzly
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
The Weather Doctor has an excellent description of the conditions leading to the formation of arctic outflows and how they behave, a good read (click on Weather Phenomena and Elements) Note: The Weather Doctor website is by a retired meteorologist living in Valemount BC and he has a lot of great weather information.
Interestingly enough, as of early evening we still don't have the real cold, it's only been up and down of 0 C all day which if you can find a non windy spot, makes for a pleasant day. Took a bit of a hike today and came across fresh bear tracks on top of the light skiff of snow we received Thursday night - I hope whoever left them is on their way up the mountains to a den. Grizzly
Friday, December 4, 2009
Krummholz, which are mats of low very dense trees. The buds in this photo are typical of their survival strategy which is to secrete a heavy pitch coating in the late summer over the entire bud (that's not ice in this photo - it's all pitch), essentially sealing the tender buds inside and prevent the 'freeze drying' of the buds in the winter which can kill a lot of different trees and shrubs in the Bella Coola Valley during an arctic outflow. Grizzly
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The snow we have has formed a nice hard 'late winter' crust on it, so it's much easier to get around and go for walks off the plowed path which is kind of nice for early in the winter. Grizzly
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
It's been a different 'fall' so to speak as far as the snow the Bella Coola Valley has received. Not only did we get a significant amount of snow early, it seems to be accumulating and staying more in the upper valley, beyond Noosgulch River to Stuie. There are reports of 45 cm on the ground at Stuie, meanwhile in the lower Bella Coola Valley around Snooka Creek the cows were grazing on bare fields today! The temperature tonight is right at 0 C and Environment Canada is suggesting it will be cooler and sunnier this week. Grizzly
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Cold arctic air from this system prevailed over all of western Canada as well, and you will often see it referred to in the weather news as the November 1985 cold spell that set many records on the BC Coast and elsewhere.
More in January about the all time recorded extreme low temperature in Bella Coola. Grizzly
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
The snow gauge at Heckman Pass is showing just past the 2.5 foot mark (sorry it's not in metric). Highway 20 is compact snow all the way from the Hill to the Puntzi Lake area. There is a good 30 cm+ snow pack throughout the Anahim Lake, Nimpo Lake area through to Tatla Lake. It drops off past Tatla to less than 15 cm, and then from Alexis Creek to Williams Lake it's just a skiff plus or minus in most areas. The Chilcotin was beautiful today. Grizzly
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
The night stayed pretty mild last night and it was just above freezing this morning. It actually warmed up to 4o or 5o C in the afternoon and had a few periods where you could see some clear sky. Otherwise just a damp feeling most of the day. At least the highways are all nicely back to bare blacktop. Grizzly
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Well the snow that started yesterday kept up till the wee hours this morning. Most areas of the valley received at least 5-15 cm, a lot more as you go east in the valley, more like 30 cm. In some areas the snow was a lot heavier and wetter than other areas, but generally pretty heavy snow . Highway 20 on “The Hill” is reported to have received a serious amount of snow that kept the highway ploughing contractors busy. The power went out in most of the valley in the middle of the night when one of the large trees at the rock cut near the Village of Bella Coola came down across the power line and the highway. There were also a number of smaller trees heavily laden with wet snow which fell partially on the highway. Further up valley the power is still out in the Stuie area tonight. The public schools were closed today, because the buses could not get between schools till mid morning when the tree was cleared and the power and heat restored in the schools. The good news is that the big rains stayed further south and missed us. Virtually all the precipitation in the Bella Coola Valley came down as snow. The temperature in the morning was close to 0o C and it more or less stayed there into this evening.
All in all, a typical November day, early wet heavy snows are always a challenge for everyone. It appears as though the mountain snowpack is quite substantial already which provides ideal conditions for all of our Grizzly and Black bears to head off and find their winter dens. Last year we had a low early season snowpack and some very cold weather in December which along with fewer fall spawning salmon likely left bears in vulnerable conditions for denning. With this snowfall in the valley, it will be a lot quieter on the bear activity in the valley bottom and the bears can feel secure and warm in their dens, although there will be those that prefer to feed on late season spawning coho salmon around for a while yet. Grizzly
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The picture is a good example of some of the fresh debris moved around during the highwater. Grizzly
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
An early winter, the first serious snow on the valley bottom arrived starting late on Friday afternoon and kept up through the night. There were several wet inches by the morning. November snow in the valley is not very nice, always wet sometimes it stays sometimes it goes.
Friday, November 6, 2009
If today and this week are the trend then let's go with wet. Today was a dark, dreary November day. Rain all day long, at times heavy, but the freezing level very low most of the day until around 5 PM when the freezing level hit the valley bottom and it turned to wet heavy snow, which it has been doing for the early evening.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- Nov 3-4, 1950 180.3 mm - Flood isolated Hagensborg, plans for new bridge to Salloompt had to be altered.
- Oct 16-21, 1965 183.1mm - Seven bridges and a section of road washed out.
- Jan 23, 1965 - Rain on recent fresh snow and freezing level up to 10,000 feet. Two bridges washed out, Hagensborg flooded, telephone exchange knocked out. A Sikorsky helicopter was on standby to evacuate.
- Jan 21-23 1968 157.5 mm - A total of 186cm of snow had fallen to date, likely snow on the ground of 50-80 cm in the valley, freezing level rose to 3400 metres. Bella Coola River rose 11 feet. Large flood.
- Sep 25-26, 1973 103.1 mm. - Major change in the Big Bend of the river. Upstream of Tatsquan was cut off. The old channel which had persisted for over a century was filled with sediment.
- Oct 29 – Nov 1 1978 101.2 mm. - Rip rap at airport eroded, Wilderness Air float plane terminal in the river was damaged and dock area infilled with gravel, Burnt Bridge Creek overflowed along the highway, damage in Salloompt, damage in Thorsen Creek.
- Dec 7-15, 1980 340.4 mm (7 days) - Airport flooded, highway closed, Nusatsum River flooded the dyke.
- Sep 26-29, 1988 - 149.8 mm Salloompt flooded
- Nov 7,8, 2004 159.5 mm – Many forestry roads washed out.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
X-country skiers started skiing on the old road trail at East Branch today, about a foot of good snow.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The numbers are in and it's true, between Oct 28 - Nov 1 at the Bella Coola Airport they recorded 186 mm or approximately 7" of rain! Put this on top of freezing levels that went up very high with a recent snow pack and a flood is the result. Data is recovered from Environment Canada for the Airport.
It was a beautiful day in the valley, by mid day the residual low cloud cleared and blue sky and cool afternoon prevailed. Walking about and looking at places only a few days ago were either raging torrents or under a lot of water, today it seems calm and fresh. Describing to someone what the weather was like a few days ago who wasn't here loses something in the translation if you weren't there to experience and enjoy 186 mm of rain.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Noticed they replaced the 'local' unofficial sign with a proper sign marking the high point of the pass which looks very nice. Another damp day in Bella Coola.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The October foliage colours in the Bella Coola Valley were much better than most years this fall. It must be the result of the very dry hot summer and relatively nice fall with a few cool days in early October. Most years the Cottonwoods often drop their leaves while still green or only partially coloured, but this year it seems the extensive stands of valley bottom Cottonwood took on a very nice yellow while the birch in most cases was brilliant yellow. The only thing missing were the reds that are characteristic of the vast eastern mixed hardwood stands, but all in all a nice bonus to the end of the summer. The rain of the last few days pretty much ended the fall colour display.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
It wasn’t the biggest flood Bella Coola Valley has seen, but certainly some problems have been created and some areas had higher water than others. It rained most of the night, but luckily the freezing level came down to about 3000’ through the night and so at higher altitudes there was snow. The Thorsen Creek bridge was saved, luckily the road contractor had an excavator move in and dealt with some logs that had become jammed and could have easily damaged the bridge. Hagensborg is flooded from the Bay Hotel to the Legion, Saloomt Road was flooded in the normal low spot, Hammer road is washed out in two places, the forestry bridge on Noosgulch washed out the approach on one side and Nusatsum forestry road is washed out at 2 km. There was fresh snow on The Hill (Highway 20) today as well.
The rain was much slower most of the day and hopefully this storm has ended and now we can wait for the first big snow.
Friday, October 30, 2009
By 3 PM today, water levels were beyond seasonal freshet and at flood stage in some areas. The water was very close to coming over the highway at the Thorsen Creek Bridge, there was the usual stretch of highway at Meechams garage under 2-6" of water and side creeks were pretty wild. Hammer Road was cut in two places early in the day. I'll provide a better overview of the whole extent of the event when it is over.
In my checking around today I was reminded about the beautiful 'smells' of a flood. There are two distinct smells, one is the fresh earth smell, of all the siltation that is being carried down from the various places where erosion is happening and soil being deposited, the other is the distinct mushroom/fungus smell of all the fall musty leaves and organic material being washed down. It's a beautiful smell and you'll all know what I'm describing if you have smelt it.
Still raining, Friday evening and still more snow to come down. Hope it's not the big one, doesn't feel like it, but there will be some damage.