Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ice and Rain

Its warmed up just enough to melt the snow we had last week on the main roads but everywhere else, parking lots and driveways are all nice and shined up and just great for trying to walk on.   We had a little bit of light rain today and it's still very close to 0 C.  The ground was so frozen from the cold spell a week ago that any precipitation pretty well sits on top and is likely to freeze making walking a little bit slippery.  It's usually cured by a whole new dump of snow, or a bunch of rain.  Grizzly

Monday, November 29, 2010

Light Snow and Grey

The morning in the Bella Coola Valley started out with the type of low cloud that usually preceeds a snow storm in the valley and given that it was in the -2 C range and snow was forecast, it all seemed pretty believable. 

It didn't really pan out though, throughout the day we had wispy lazy small snowflakes, and even some ice pellets near the end of the day. This evening it hasn't done much either as the latest Pacific storm system drifts eastward over the Central Coast.  The grey feeling is amply illustrated by the photo of the bare grey rocks today.  Grizzly

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Coho in an Eagle's Talon

One of the few coho I've seen this fall was this afternoon while walking along the banks of the Bella Coola River up the valley.  A mature bald eagle flew from a perch and had the remains of the head of a coho in its talons - hopefully it enjoyed the meal, because I don't think there are many to be had this fall for the bears or the eagles.

The Bella Coola River still has a lingering silt colour to it, that is not the remnants of the summer glacial melt and not the nearly clear water we would normally be seeing by this time of year as it goes into its winter state.  It's all due to the Great Flood of 2010 which is still causing freshly exposed silt from high up in the river system to travel through the river system.

Otherwise today at -2 or -3 C was very pleasant, making the weekend all around nice in the Bella Coola Valley.

I forgot to mention last week that the X-Country skiers are active again - they've got the first phase of the 30 km X-country trail network all groomed up and skiing is excellent.  Check out my friend Tweeds blog for up to date information.  Grizzly

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rime Ice

Today was spectacular in the Bella Coola Valley.  The temperature dropped overnight to the -6 C range and all the cloud cleared out through the night.  All the fresh snow from this week was highlighted by the low angle sun which really gave nice definition to the various mountain peaks.  Because Mt Nusatsum (8448') sticks out into the sky so much it had its own unique treatment that the other valley peaks didn't receive as much of.  The peak was coated in rime ice today deposited in the last couple days by super cooled water droplets hitting it.  It was really eye catching today.  Grizzly

Friday, November 26, 2010

Not a Polar Bear

With the snow this week, I was thinking that maybe this will be the final event that pushes the remaining grizzly bears to give up and go den up in the mountains and try to put this miserable fishless fall behind them.

Today though it didn't take long to find the tracks of a bear wandering along the river likely patrolling for something of interest.  Unfortunately when you are a bear and still hungry, a little bit of snow won't be enough to stop the urge to keep searching for food, they've got to put some fat on.  Like last winter I'm sure we will see some around right into Christmas and beyond, hopeful that they can find some late coho.

After the snow stopped last night there was a little bit of light rain through the night, but not enough to take away much of the 5-10 cm of snow from yesterday in the Bella Coola Valley.  Today it tried really hard to clear in the valley, but only a few glimpses of the mountains were available once in awhile, just not enough air moving to push some of the clouds out.  Apart from the slippery roads in the upper valley in the morning, it was  good day.  Grizzly

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Some Snow

The first serious snowfall of the year came overnight.  By the morning there was 5-10 cm depending on where you were in the valley and with snow on and off during the day 10 cm plus further up valley.  The snowfall in the Bella Coola Valley can really vary from one end to the other and from one year to the next.  At tidewater the snow can often be wet and/or near rain, while further up the valley in the Nusatsum River it can be coming down fast and deep.  Mt.Nusatsum is a key 'weather generator' in the valley - the front or west side of it pushing air up and dropping a lot of precipitation which meets cooler air flowing out of the Nusatsum Valley.  East of Mt. Nusatsum on the backside, it can create a bit of rainshadow and be colder and clearer to the east.  The deepest snow area is often from about Salloomt Road to Firvale, but last year east of Firvale got more snow than west of Firvale.

What is typical and predicable though is a snowfall that ends with a bit of rain like it started to do tonight, that's just the price you pay for living on the edge of the rain forest.  Grizzly

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Tiny Bit of Snow

It was a much milder day in the Bella Coola Valley in the -8 C to -5 C range and not bad on the wind.   A little whisper of snow came before lunch and then around dinner time.  It hasn't amounted to much this evening so far.  It warmed up quite a bit on the Chilcotin as well today so we'll see what the next phase of the weather brings.  Satellite images show a nice band of cloud lined up on the Central Coast quite nicely.  It's hard to get pictures this time of year showing what's going on in the valley -- it's dark in the morning and pretty much dark at the end of the day and if I don't have time at lunch I can't post any fine Bella Coola scenes!  Grizzly

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Icy Bella Coola River

After a few days of well below freezing levels, the Bella Coola River starts to get ice along the margins and pans of slush ice drifting lazily downstream. The pans of ice brush along the margins and sometimes catch up and slowly the river gets smaller. If we have a prolonged cold spell the slow parts of the river will freeze over completely. The couple of mergansers I was watching seemed flustered by the pans of ice that were getting in their way.

Tonight the east wind has stopped and it's a very pleasant -9 C. It almost feels warm when you can go outside and not feel the sting of the wind. Apparently the snow phase is next for the Bella Coola Valley. Grizzly

Monday, November 22, 2010

Freeze Dried Plants

Environment Canada is suggesting tonight will be the coldest for the current Arctic Outflow in Bella Coola - forecasting - 17C (it's around -12 or 13 C this evening).  The ground is getting pretty frozen, but in spite of it the highways ditch cleaning guys are still chipping away to get all the highways ditches in shape.

One of the challenges of gardening in Bella Coola is the exact weather we are having right now.  If we get early snow then the amount of cold doesn't matter too much for most of the plants that should do well in this zone are protected by snow.  It's when we get weather like we have now that damage gets done.  I can practically see my poor strawberry plants perishing right now.  They had active growth right into November because of some of the mild weather and then now a week of cold, drying winds is really going to damage some of the plants like these.  Normally we can get Rosemary to survive if it has a snow covering, but is mostly getting freeze dried now and likely not to make it.

Hopefully we get a nice insulating blanket of snow before the next outflow.  Grizzly

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Cold Province

Most of the Province of British Columbia is now under the Arctic air.  That trend seems like it will continue for a few more days for us in the Bella Coola Valley.  We still have outflow winds but they are not as bad and the cold is staying in the -5 to -7 C range, which is minor compared to cold in other areas of the province.  

Today in the valley was another blue sky day and if you had something to do outside that didn't depend on ground being not frozen, it wasn't a bad day to do it. The only surprise awaiting us at the end of the Arctic outbreak is how it will end, it's usually only one of two ways, a big snowfall, or mild with some freezing rain and then some more rain.   Grizzly

Saturday, November 20, 2010

End of Sun

Around this time of the fall when you get a clear blue day in Bella Coola most of us start to notice how near we are to the "end of sun" for the winter.   If you are wondering what I'm talking about, it's a simple fact of Bella Coola Valley life that a lot of the properties in Bella Coola have a period where they receive no direct sunlight.  It varies a lot depending on your location from being sunless for a few weeks to a few months. Our location is 6 weeks starting at the first week of December.  Today I was reminded that the time is near when I was outside and the sun suddenly covered the yard in the early afternoon with intense bright light.  It was a pleasant 30 minutes before it dropped behind the mountain.

The basic problem is that the Bella Coola Valley is roughly an east west valley, and the south side of the valley has a wall of mountains from 5-8000' high.  The only thing that gives a break to some areas are the 'notches' created by side valleys.  It is through these notches that people living in proximity of some the gaps and those on the very north side of the valley - the Salloomt River road is the most noticeable - get sun almost every day because the angle works out better for them.

It's not as bad as it sounds - in the period we have no sun for six weeks there will be at least 3 or more of those weeks that no one is getting sun anyway because of cloudy or stormy days.  Another week or two we will likely have snow cover on the ground and the mountains and we get a lot of bright reflected sunlight which is enough to just cast a faint shadow.

We are not alone though. The village of Viganella in Italy solved the problem with a giant 5 x 8 metre stainless steel mirror.  There situation was identical to ours - the whole village sunless for 3 months because of the alps. A teasing sun line on the mountain above them gave an entrepreneur an idea to solve the problem. Their mirror mounted on the mountain above and tracking the sun by computer focuses sun on the village square, so you can come out get your daily dose.  Grizzly

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bitter Gale-Force Winds

"A few times each winter, frigid arctic air bursts out from the interior mainland, spilling out through the mountain gaps and rushing through fjords, to chill coastal areas with bitter gale-force winds. These outbursts are called arctic outbreaks or arctic outflows."  That's how Keith C. Heidorn, PhD, THE WEATHER DOCTOR, February 15, 2002 describes what we are experiencing tonight in the Bella Coola Valley.  The full Arctic front has arrived and winds are intense. At my favourite outflow wind weather site of Cathedral Point in Burke Channel, they are recording gusts of wind to 124 km/h tonight.   The only thing we don't have yet is the extreme cold because the temperatures are still only -5 to -7C.  I'm sure there is more good news to come.

Apart from a wee bit of wind though it was fine late fall day in the Bella Coola Valley.  If you click on the photo and look closely you will see the wind blowing the snow off the mountain peak like a fine wisp of smoke.  Most of the mountain peaks were 'smokin' today.  Grizzly

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today vs Yesterday

With the passage of the Arctic air into the Bella Coola Valley and the Central Coast, it means putting up with cold and wind, but at least we'll get some spectacular days of nice blue skies and mountain views.  Today was one of those days.  At lunch today it was hard to decide which view to take a photo of because it was so dramatic in all directions, so I'll include two photos today.  The top photo is near the same spot and view as yesterday's post.

The photo below is the view of the snow capped Mount Nusatsum which is always spectacular in darn near any season and light.  At -5 C and wind in the 30 km/h range from the east most of the day, it was a pretty good day for an Arctic outflow day.  Grizzly

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weather Predictions

Wasn't so many years ago that when an Arctic outflow (east wind) hit the Bella Coola Valley, it was mostly a surprise, other than the 12 hours or so preceeding it when you could recognize the signs of something big about to happen.  Now for the most part Environment Canada seems to nail the predictions pretty close. Few of them are surprises, just the extremes in temperature are sometimes colder or warmer than they predict.

Grey Day Looking West

This event arrived right about on schedule today.  A period of grey with light snow for the morning, then clearing and wind shifting from westerly to outflow by dinner time, accompanied by a temperature drop.  So far this evening it's only dropped to -3  or -4 C, but Environment Canada is still suggesting much colder later in the weekend.  Check out the winds at Cathedral Point (52°11'17.05"N 127°28'15.48"W- about half way down Burke Channel near Kwatna Inlet) weather station this afternoon:

Very impressive outflow winds gusting to 105 km/h and sustained 80 km/h.  That's what happens when you live in a funnel of air between the coast and the interior of BC. Grizzly

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grey Light

It was a pretty decent day in Bella Coola.  A lot of leftover cloud from yesterday, but a few bright periods later in the day produced some nice light and brief glimpses of the mountain peaks just when the light was too low to get a good picture of the accumulating snow pack on the mountains.

Today's photo is looking downstream on the Nusatsum River from Highway 20.  You can see fresh log jams in the distance and newly scoured channel.  It's a big tributary to the Bella Coola River and can get pretty wild when it wants to. 

Environment Canada is being persistent with the forecast for cold weather and 50-70 km/h winds, which I'm pretty sure I mentioned are very unpleasant.  A question was asked yesterday what the coldest temperatures in Bella Coola are like.  The coldest recorded temperature was -28.9 C on January 15, 1950.  "Normal" cold though is -15 C, a few bumps down to -20 and every 1o or 20 years a drop below -20 C.  But there is a big variation from the end of North Bentinck Arm where the coastal influence is strongest to the eastern end of the valley at Stuie BC where it can regularly be much colder.  The lower 40 km of the valley are almost always subject to extreme Arctic outflow winds during these events as well.  Even hardened prairie folks who have seen it all, will eventually admit the -20 C, 70-100 km/h outflow and damp, dense air at sea level is really special.  Grizzly

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just an Inch of Rain

Everything is back to normal with November - a perfect November day started with rain through the night and kept up all day.  This evening at 5 PM, there was just shy of an inch of rain in my rain gauge (about 20 mm) so everything is good.  It's time to batten things down though - Environment Canada is forecasting -14C later this week, and that won't be -14C where the smoke goes straight up from the chimney, it will be accompanied with the wicked east wind (arctic outflow) that is so nasty.

I was comparing notes with a neighbor tonight and he was doing the same as me, moving all the things out of his unheated shop that acccumulate all summer that get ruined when they freeze...latex paints, glue, silicon seal and all kinds of surprising things that don't do well when frozen.  Grizzly

Sunday, November 14, 2010

13 C

I must have the wrong month...on November 1, I said November was the worst month - in my opinion - in the Bella Coola Valley, but so far I've been just plain wrong this year.  The temperature at the Bella Coola Airport topped out at a balmy 13 C today with a warm westerly breeze!  It's really helping the road reconstruction and home repairs going on still after the Great Flood of 2010.  We were out of town for a few days this week and were impressed with the 2.5 km of Highway 20 that has been completely rebuilt at McClinchy Creek, all armoured with protective rock and completely repaved already!

Snow gauge Heckman Pass
There is very little snow in the Chilcotin, just a few inches at the top of The Hill on Highway 20 at Heckman Pass.  It's the time of year when it can go from a couple of inches to a couple of feet overnight though if a big Pacific frontal system with colder arctic air around shows up at the same time. Grizzly

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Flood History

Over the last month or so, when listening to the flood stories and comparison of the Great Flood of 2010 to past floods, I realized that there was almost no talk of floods in the Bella Coola Valley from the huge flood of 1936 until another big flood in 1965.  I thought there must be something in there.  I checked my prime source, the publication Rainstorm and Flood Damage: Northwest British Columbia, 1891-1991 and another publication, Bella Coola River Flood and Erosion Control, W. Tempest, September 1974 commissioned to do planning after the big 1968 flood.  The only mention of any significant floods was one in 1950, but other than that the period is referred to as having moderate floods between 1936 and 1965 -- a 29 year period with only one significant flood!

Nusatsum Forest Service Road 1.0 km Sep 2010
In Tempest's 1974 report he has a nice summary of the flood history in the valley from 1874 to 1974:

“Moderate floods occurred in the winters of 1905, 1917, 1924, 1932.  In October 1934 a large flood occurred which washed out many bridges and destroyed much of the road.  Engineer Swan (Department of Public Works) reported at the time that this was the largest flood in 60 years. Then in November 1936 a flood occurred higher that [sic] in 1934 and devastated the country once more.  Moderate floods occurred at frequent intervals up to the high floods of 1965 and 1968. The 1968 flood was the largest flood recorded during the period of record of the gauging station on the Bella Coola River.  Since the Hagensborg area had been settled from 1894 and the original settlers would still be alive in 1934, Swan’s report of the 1934 flood being the largest in 60 years appears reasonable.  From river level surveys taken at the time and estimated discharge at Hagensborg the flood in 1934 was slightly less in magnitude than the 1968 flood.  Field surveys of historical flood marks indicate that the 1936 flood was higher than the 1968 flood by approximately one foot.”  Tempest, 1974

Most of the anecdotal information I've gotten is that the Great Flood of 2010 was higher than the water in 1968 and in most areas more than a foot or two higher.  My records of floods since the 1991 report have moderate floods in 1996, 2004, 2006 and 2009, none anywhere close to the Great Flood of 2010.  You can see where I'm going here to suggest that Great Flood of 2010 was the largest flood since 1874 - a period of 136 years.  

Later on in the report he goes on to calculate flood frequency curves using some math and statistics.  It’s interesting to note:

“Since the 1934 flood had apparently not been exceed in 60 years  the length of the historical record is from 1874 to 1972, a period of 99 years.  Including the 1934, 1936 and 1968 floods, the number of events equaling or exceeding the lowest historical flood is 3 and the total number of events in the array is 27”

Tempest covered the period of 1874-1974, the Rainstorm and Flood Damage: Northwest British Columbia, 1891-1991 covers the period of 1975 to 1991  My personal notes cover the period of 1992 to 2010. When you add the number of events from 1975 onwards to Tempest's total number of events of 27 then the likely total flood events of moderate size and greater since 1874 in the Bella Coola Valley is 36, or expect a moderate or greater flood every 3.8 years.  Whopper floods seem to have occurred 6 times in 136 years; 1874, 1934, 1936, 1968, 1980 and 2010 or every 22.6 years.

If you are looking at your situation, and trying to crystal ball the future then plan accordingly.  Me, I'm hoping it's 2010 plus 22.6 years for the 2032 fall/winter before we get a whopper flood again, but I know enough about statistics that means it could also be next year... Grizzly

Friday, November 12, 2010

A New Church

Driving along Highway 20 between Bella Coola and Williams Lake you tend to notice new things - usually they happen over a number of trips and then one time it catches your eye because it's done and part of the landscape.  Earlier this fall we took a short side trip up onto the hill to look at the architecture in this recently completed church at the little community of Anaham or Tl’etinqox Reserve (not Anahim Lake closer to Bella Coola, but Anaham Reserve closer to Alexis Creek).  It's an eye catching log structure and it sits high up on the hill so you can't help but see it.  Here is a nice article by Sage Birchwater which gives some more history about it. Grizzly

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Awhile back someone posted a comment reminiscing about the days they spent in Namu, BC as a child.  Namu was a seasonal fishing community located just south of the entrance to Burke Channel - on the eastern side of Fitz Hugh Sound in Namu Harbour.  Namu was established as a salmon cannery by Robert Draney (long time Central Coast and Bella Coola pioneer family) in 1893.  It's about 60 miles by water from Bella Coola.  It ran as a cannery until the early 1970's.  The beginning of it's downfall was the improving technology in icing and chilling salmon which made it much easier to ship salmon to either Prince Rupert or Vancouver for final processing.  The cannery was closed and from 1970 until the late 1980 or early 90's served as an ice supply location and transfer station for all sorts of fishing - salmon troll, gillnet and seine and groundfish such as halibut.  It also operated for many decades up till the 60's as a herring reduction plant - in the days when Pacific Herring were fished only for their oil and by product fish meal (now they are fished for their roe).  I was lucky for the first part of my career to spend many days in some of the biggest salmon fisheries on the Central Coast working in that area.  The lady who posted a comment only barely scratched the history and memories of thousands of people of this place in the 100 years of it's existence and it's pre-existence as a First Nation settlement.

In its day it was a huge hub of activity from  March to September when it was operated by BC Packers.  It had a completely stocked grocery store, extensive commercial fishing tackle and marine hardware, marine repair yard, machine shop, ice plant, liquor store, jail, administration offices, workers and managers houses, docks, float plane docks and so on.  My favourite place was the restaurant, after spending a number of days on a boat in the summertime, to go there and have a Namu hamburger and an ice cream cone, was pure heaven.

Namu is also important for something else - archaeologically it's widely recognized as the area with the oldest and longest continuous human habituation on the BC Coast, with an established record of  First Nations occupation going back to 11,000 years ago - right to the point when the ice was retreating and the land on the inner coast starting to rebound from the weight of the ice.  It's a natural and strategic spot, rich in seafood in the surrounding area and a key point in coastal movement whether before European contact or after.
Namu BC 1986 by Grizzly
My only regret is my kids never got to see it in its hey day and I have very few photos.  Pictures of the jail, post office, hardware store, ice plant, fuel dock and the many people that buzzed around seemed so mundane at the time, but now would be so interesting to have.  The memories I have of it and some the wild and crazy times with 250 seine boats and 100 gill netters parked in there after a fishery will always be with me. It was sold by BC Packers in 1991 and is now run by a private company, trying to maintain the place as a marine service centre. Here is a website with  a very nice photo essay of Namu in its years after its heydays. Grizzly

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coast Mountain News

Thank you to the people who have posted comments on my Oct 28/10 post and have given me some new ideas.  One quick easy question to answer is about whether Bella Coola has a newspaper.  Yes it does and while I've read the history of newspapers in Bella Coola, I can't recall the total picture right now, other than to say except for a few periods in the last 100 years, there has been a local newspaper under various names.  If I run into the article again on the history I will post a reference to it.

Currently and for the last 20 years or so it has gone under the name Coast Mountain News, here is the publishers information straight from page 4 this week if you are interested in subscribing:

I have no connection to the newspaper, but we are regular readers because as in any small town, the newspaper still serves a vital role in providing public notice of events, legal things, a few goodies for sale, and what's going on in the valley. It's published on every second Thursday. Grizzly

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


One of the usual outcomes of any stream high water event like the Great Flood of 2010, is the transfer of silts, sand, gravel and rock - all considered part of the bedload of the stream.  The amount of bedload and the type that moves during a flood is all proportional to the size of the event.  In the Great Flood of 2010, there was a lot of bedload movement because it was a really BIG event for this watershed.  Now that the Bella Coola River and the tributaries are getting down to more normal levels, the extent of the bedload changes are really becoming evident.  Some of the side creeks like Noosgulch and Cachootin Creek also appear to have had debris torrents which are liquefied masses of gravel, rock and wood.

Fresh bedload from side creek 3-4 metres deep
The short term implications of the bedload are readily apparent and being dealt with by the digging going on in Snootli, Thorsen Creeks and Klonnik Creeks, which with dykes on both sides have resulted in full and overflowing situations.   What is less obvious and will only become apparent with time and observations during more moderate floods is the effect on the Bella Coola River.  All those 1000's of cubic metres of material that came into the system are still there somewhere - only the finest particles went to sea and added to the great Bella Coola Estuary to make it  imperceptibly but slightly larger.  Spread throughout the Bella Coola River it will now have a deeper channel in some areas, shallower and wider in others.  It's part of the long term consequences we won't know the full extent of  and how to deal with them for years.  We are not alone though - the Pemberton Valley near Whistler BC also has a long flooding history and with 40 km of dykes, it can become a complex management problem.  They seem to have a comprehensive system of monitoring and putting some science to the situation.  Grizzly

Monday, November 8, 2010

Valley Cloud

Most of today was one of those days when you know it's probably a nice sunny day, but all the remnant cloud and lack of wind meant that we didn't get much of a glimpse of anything till about 4 PM today when some clear spots came through.  The brief views were nice because there is a good coat of fresh snow on the mountains a long ways down.  Grizzly

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Introduced Trees

We had a few showers through the night, but most of it above 3 or 4000' came down as snow, because the mountains all had a fresh coat on this morning when you could see them for short while.  Otherwise it was all around a pretty good day again.  It was a good day for more yard and leaf cleanup. 

Most of these leaves are from an introduced tree - a Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra).  We planted it about 15 years ago and it's turned into a beautful tree, it provides a great deal of shade in the summer and seems to thrive on the Bella Coola climate even though it's several thousand kilometers out of it's normal range.  After 15 years ours is 10 metres high and 30 cm dbh (diameter at breast height), not bad for an introduced hardwood tree. 

British Columbia's only native oak tree is the Gary Oak (Quercus garryana) which is beautiful and classic tree that grows in the dry sites on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.  Grizzly

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Colours Done

Looking around the Bella Coola Valley this weekend it's apparent that there isn't much left for fall leaves on our two main fall colour trees which are the stands of black cottonwood (Populus tricocarpa) and paper birch (Betula papyrifera).   Both are pretty much done except for the odd straggler.  Of course the extensive stands of coastal red alder (Alnus rubra) which is a valuable tree for stabilizing soil, producing nitrogen, firewood and makes beautiful hardwood boards, doesn't go golden -- one day the leaves just go from green to fallen off - a sad thing because the coast would rival the Maritimes in colour if all the alder was to go golden.  About the only fall colours we could find, were introduced trees like the Lombardy poplars and the Hazelnut in this photo.

Today has proven me wrong about November again - a frost in the morning, then the rest of the day was high cloud, no wind and just a good November day for doing more things outdoors, yard chores, firewood, a walk, whatever you needed to do.  Grizzly

Friday, November 5, 2010

Between Weather

Another day in the Bella Coola Valley where we got a break between weather systems.  This time it was a beautiful day with blue skies once the morning cloud gave way.  Work is progressing on the emergency measures coming out of the Great Flood of 2010, with most of the effort going into removing all the extra bed-load trapped within the diked areas in order to get the channels down lower and give the water somewhere to go.  It's a big job and winter is not far away.  Grizzly

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just Rain

Today was very much more a November day in the Bella Coola Valley.  The best part was the sunrise, but after that a wall of clouds moved in and we got a pretty hard, steady and cold rain the rest of the day.  Grizzly

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wrong about November?

I know that 3 days in a month doesn't constitute a trend, but today the weather in the Bella Coola Valley could have convinced anyone that November is a good month.  Warm, a slight outflow wind and sunshine made it a bonus day.  We reached a high of 14 C which is quite amazing for early November.

Thanks to the readers who made a couple suggestions about the spider photo I posted yesterday, I'm going to go with the spider being a Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus), apparently common, not toxic if bitten and this one is a female. Grizzly

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Average November Day

During the night, last night  we had periods of rain which were on and off and some pretty steady  - but the first glimpse of the mountains this morning confirmed that above 4000 or 4500' most of the precipitation is snow in the mountains around the Bella Coola Valley, so all good from a flood perspective.  It didn't ever really clear up today, but there were periods in the afternoon that were pretty good. All in all an average November day.  

Caught a glimpse of this spider today on the road - anyone know what it is? Grizzly

Monday, November 1, 2010

November - The Worst Month!

If I had to skip a month in the life of Bella Coola every year it would definitely be November.  We've passed through the best month of September (okay so September had a couple dark moments this year) and the 'tween' month of October where any good day is a bonus, rainy days are normal and rain storms are average.  Now we're in November, the days are getting short and when it rains like it did last night and on and off today, the rain is cold and often near snow.   Floods are bigger threat because now we have significant fresh snowpack accumulating on the mountains.   As we go we'll get into more sleet, some snow that comes and goes, and the possibility of a big snowfall later in the month.  About all there is to look forward to is colder weather with good snow falling at East Branch in Tweedsmuir Park (top of the hill on Highway 20) so we can start winter skiing and snowmobiling.  Heard there was 30 cm of new snow at the top of The Hill today.   Grizzly

Bella Coola River today - Typical November