Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our First Major Arctic Outflow This Winter

Well the east wind is here, but not the real 'Arctic' portion of it -- yet.  It's never pleasant when it settles in, but with all the available weather forecasting at least they are rarely a surprise anymore and the forecasters are amazingly accurate on predicting their severity.  They are usually predicted well in advance and the tell tale signs of the approaching cold front when the sky clears a bit, the pressure starts climbing and the temperature starts plummeting usually confirm the weather forecasters prediction.  How much wind we feel depends on where you live in the Bella Coola Valley, but when it's really bad -- it's bad everywhere except as you get further up valley into Tweedmsuir Park, the temperature gradient between the warm coastal air and the cold interior arctic air has shifted closer to the interior air temperature and the winds are not as bad.  The really bad places are down in Burke Channel - watch the Environment Canada Cathedral Point weather station, it's usually pretty interesting, winds gusting to over a 100 kmh (already gusting to 80 kmh tonight) are not uncommon.  In the valley the worst places seem to be near the townsite of Bella Coola, around the Snootli stretch and up past Nusatsum, all places where the valley narrows.

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

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