Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Weather Break

We had to wait till the last day of November to have a break from "miserable November weather", but we did get a break.  Clearing off in the late morning brought spectacular mountain views.  We are enjoying a relatively rare Pacific high pressure system as opposed to the Arctic high pressure system that can also bring blue skies, but often nasty east or Arctic outflow winds.  Mount Nusatsum was impressive today.  Grizzly

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mixed November Weather

Lots of mixed wet/snowy weather continuing in the Bella Coola Valley.  The Bella Coola River is in good shape after the heaviest weekend rains, but snow continues to fall at higher elevations and rain and snow mixed in the valley bottom such that the lower valley is mostly bare and as you go east a bit of snow is staying on the ground.  Grizzly

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Couple Days - What a Difference

After a wet, wild and windy weekend on the coast, the Bella Coola Valley and the Chilcotin area in general, there is a whole lot more snow in the mountains.  Some melted in the valley bottom while lots of rain fell, but in Heckman Pass on Highway 20, the snow level has been doubled up since Friday.  About 2 feet of fresh.  Grizzly

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rural Mail

Bella Coola's two post offices (one in downtown Bella Coola and one in Hagensborg) look pretty modern compared to this one at the community of Tatlayoko BC (west of Tatla Lake in the Chilcotin), but it looks like a pretty efficient post office as well, I'm sure you can get everything you want here. Grizzly

Friday, November 25, 2011

Heckman Pass

Winter is well along it's way on Highway 20 at Heckman Pass with nearly 3 feet of snow and more falling as I passed by the gauge.  There is a pretty serious forecast for lots of rain in Bella Coola tonight and tomorrow.  Hopefully the rains don't bring flood levels. If the freezing levels stay down relatively low it may mean a significant dump of snow in the mountains and no floods.  Grizzly

Thursday, November 24, 2011

No Wind -- Till 9:30 PM!

Got that wrong in my earlier post.  Just after my posting, one heck of a wind hit my area of the Bella Coola Valley - I guess we won't escape the coastal wind storm this time either.  Grizzly

No Wind

At least the Bella Coola River has been stable and predictable the last few weeks, unlike the weather that seems to swing every day.  Wet snow and rain yesterday, cool with a couple breaks today.  We didn't get the big wind that the rest of the coast got, but that's one advantage of living deep in the mountains on the coast -- we often don't get the full wind effects of the big SE fall storms. Grizzly

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Miserable November Weather

Today exemplifies why I think the month of November is the worst in Bella Coola.  From what was forecast as  a 10-15 cm snowfall overnight, what we actually got is wet globs of snow topped with rain most of the night.  The valley bottom was messy (including the roads) this morning.  Heard there was up to a foot of snow on "The Hill" (Hwy 20) which will really speed up the winter activities in Tweedsmuir Park (Cross Country, Snowmobiling and Snowboard/skiing at our little ski hill).  Even the usually visually appealing snowberries looked depressed in the rain today. Grizzly

Monday, November 21, 2011

Snow Forecast

The photo today is what the mountains look like when there are warnings of a snow fall for the Bella Coola Valley.  Most of the day the mountains were grey with high altitude snow and fog.  We are supposed to get a little bit of snow overnight according to Environment Canada.  Grizzly

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Light Snow

In the upper part of the Bella Coola Valley it was a day of mostly lazy light snow.  With morning temperatures around -8 C, and warming up to -3 C this evening, it was quite pleasant.  The east wind also stopped yesterday, so that was a pretty minor outflow for Outflow #1. Grizzly

Friday, November 18, 2011

Outflow #1

I'm going to count the outflow events that happen this winter in Bella Coola.  I think most winters we average about 3-5 significant east winds.  I will only count the ones where the winds are really blowing and it really isn't a comfortable warm feeling.  This one arrived last evening and while not real intense (Cathedral Point - Burke Channel winds are only gusting to 80 km/h), the temperature at - 6 or -8 C and good strong steady winds at the Bella Coola Airport make it feel pretty uncomfortable.  There are three possible endings to outflows in my experience: 1.  It just warms up and the wind stops and you suddenly feel really comfortable outside again, 2. It turns to freezing rain and there is a miserable coating of ice or 3. We get a huge dump of snow usually measured in feet.  Sunday and Monday will be the end of this outflow, stay tuned.  For  a good description of outflow events see Dr Hadorn's websiteGrizzly

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wintery Weather

Most of the lower Bella Coola Valley received some snow last night, although towards town it there was very little and in other areas up to 2 cm, just a nice light November snow.  Again like the other day the views of the Coast Mountains were nothing short of breathtaking when the sun was on the them for awhile.  The photo today is the fresh snow on Mount Nusatsum.  Grizzly

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wet Snow

Short post tonight, I can only get internet for a short while after cleaning the snow off my satellite internet dish because of the wet sticky snow falling in the Bella Coola Valley tonight.  Grizzly

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Salloomt Peak

Last night we had a brief period of wet snow in some areas, the kind that sticks and freezes thick on the windshield, but didn't leave too much of a trace in the valley.  This kind of snowfall usually makes some spectacular views of the mountains the next day because it tends to stick on the them as well.  That was the case today with virtually all the peaks.  The photo today is of Salloomt Peak at 1873 m (6145').  It has several Comshells (Communications Shells) on it, one on the top and one down on the left.  The one on the left is how part of the Bella Coola Valley gets its internet service through a series of valley bottom and mountain top repeater sites operated by the Central Coast Communications Society. Grizzly

Monday, November 14, 2011

Feels Like Winter

Today in the Bella Coola Valley was on of those 'feels like winter' anytime now days.  All day long there were brisk winds and ominous grey to to the east and brief little periods of a few snow flakes -- all warnings of something bigger building.  Environment Canada is strongly suggesting it's going to snow the rest of the week as well.  It's about the right time for it to happen, but in November you never know if it's going to be a few inches of wet November concrete like snow or a full on winter dump of snow measured in feet....Grizzly

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Wet Week

It's been a wet week in the Bella Coola Valley and today continued that theme with the snow level well down.  My rain gauge had 2 1/4 inches of rain since Tuesday, forecasts are for more wet, but cooler so snow later in the week.  Grizzly

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Iron Layers

Iron in the ground and the problems it creates in conjunction with iron loving bacteria is a real frustrating problem in the Bella Coola Valley for those people on wells.  I've written a few posts illustrating the iron in the valley.  Finding a water supply where you don't have orange colour water or a strong taste of iron can be challenging, especially sometimes when you can see a clear cold river or stream close by.  I caught this photo the other day along the banks of the Bella Coola River where the banks have recently eroded.  It shows a clear layer of water that is interacting in a  high iron zone along with iron loving bacteria producing the rich red colours.  Grizzly

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Bella Coola has an early cross country skiing season one hour away from the valley - this year they started setting trails on November 3 and and last spring finished up at the end of April, a full 6 month skiing season.  Check out the what the guys are up to and trail conditions over at the Tweesmduirski blog. Grizzly

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Full on Winter - on The Hill

Winter comes quickly to the Heckman Pass portion of Highway 20 when it finally decides to turn.  One day people are talking about the snow 'sticking at the top' and before you know it, it's frozen and the snow is piling up on the snow gauge.  Grizzly

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November Rays

The clouds were slow in clearing today, but when they did in the afternoon, the sun was warm enough to sit outside for a few moments and enjoy the rare November rays in the Bella Coola Valley.  Grizzly

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Good November Day

Any November day in the Bella Coola Valley without rain or snow is a good day.  That's the kind of day it was today.  Some bright spots with a bit of sun, then lots of grey as the day ended, but all around good.  Grizzly

Friday, November 4, 2011

Heavy Frost

There has been some light touches of frost this fall in a few parts of the Bella Coola Valley, but today was the first morning of a 'window scraper' frost.   After daylight though it was a nice day reaching 3 C with a bit of filtered sunlight.  The Bella Coola River looks very nice (today's photo). Grizzly

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Quit a pleasant change in the weather this afternoon as the forecast Arctic ridge moved down over the coast.   It cleared out all the cloud in the afternoon and it was a beautiful November day.  The Environment Canada forecast even warmed up some of the forecast temperatures for the next few days so we might get lucky and have a nice stretch of weather without too much east wind to start the wintery season off.   
Mount Nusatsum in the photo looked splendid this afternoon.  Grizzly

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Long time blog readers might recall that November is not my favourite month in the Bella Coola Valley.  It's the final transition month between fall and winter and for the valley and the coast in general it can be marked by relentless cold wet weather, rainstorms, winds, some huge snowfalls of wet snow and nasty arctic outflow winds.  But today was a good start, very cool and brisk feeling and nothing dramatic for weather.  Grizzly