This is the 60th anniversary of the coldest day in over 100 years of weather records in the Bella Coola Valley. I know the suspense has been killing my regular blog readers so here it is. On this day in 1950 the weather station which was located on Grant Road North recorded a minimum temperature of -28.9 C. This is in a month where there was only one day where the maximum temperature came up to zero, but for the rest of the month the nearest warmest day was -4.4 C.
It's not record cold compared to the nearby Chilcotin, where -50 C is normal in the Puntzi area. What's notable is that we are on the edge of a coastal rain forest and this weather station was less than 10 km from the Ocean at less than 50 metres elevation so it was an extreme temperature. There are accounts of the South and North Bentinck Arms freezing over hard enough to drive on. If you know some folks that were old enough to remember that month, ask them about it, I bet there are some interesting stories to be heard. It's also a reminder of the dedication of the people that kept those weather records as volunteers for the government weather record office for all those years until an Environment Canada operated station was installed in the 1980's. I am fairly certain Bella Coola weather record data will become increasingly important in the future as more attention turns to the study of climate trends. In the meantime it's time to move onto another weather trend in the Bella Coola Valley this week, enough of dull rainy days. Grizzly