A blog about life in the Bella Coola Valley and the Central Coast area of British Columbia for anyone interested in an incredible and rich part of BC's coast. I hope to provide my thoughts about things as simple as weather observations and seasonal issues, to comments about life and the natural history in the Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and the west Chilcotin area.
Note: All photos on this blog were taken by the author unless otherwise noted. While the photos and written material are all the property of the author and protected by Copyright, I'm not a professional photographer and you can use the photos if a link or attribution is provided back to my blog. If you have a need to use a particular photo and you want the high resolution file, leave a comment with your email (I won't publish it) and we can discuss what use you intend the photo for. Grizzly
A resident of the Bella Coola Valley and observer of the natural history, geography, resources, regional climate and cultural history of the Bella Coola Valley, Central Coast and the West Chilcotin area of BC.
Happy New Year from Mr. and Mrs. Grizzly to all my blog readers! Thank you for reading it and I hope you got one or two useful items from it this year. Thank you to everyone who posted comments, I appreciate them.
Today was a 'tween' day in the annals of Bella Coola Valley weather history. No major weather in any direction and no wind. It was a nice day for a short outing on North Bentinck Arm. It was very quiet on the water with only a few seals patrolling around for something interesting and no boating activity. Grizzly
The snow that started last night in the Bella Coola Valley ended up with 3-7" of very wet snow by this morning. In most of the valley the rest of the day was cold wet rain - not very inspiring or nice to be out or driving around in. Hoping for something better soon in Bella Coola - Grizzly
Today was a good improvement on the weather front for the Bella Coola Valley, but only for today, because by tonight a light snowfall had started. It was a good chance for getting outdoors and enjoying the river today. Grizzly
The only sign of a white Christmas in the Bella Coola Valley was the old wet snow leftover from earlier in the month. The steady rain for part of Christmas day helped to knock that back some more. Merry Christmas. Grizzly
It's kind of disappointing when we get a wet Christmas, especially after having snow on and off for a month and putting up with plowed driveways and slippery highways. Unfortunately though this afternoon it rained pretty hard in the Bella Coola Valley for most of the afternoon. It can change quickly though and maybe we will see an improvement tomorrow. Hopefully all the families traveling made it safely to their destinations.
Grizzly and his family wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and hope that you get to enjoy relaxing and pleasant times. Grizzly
Plus 6 C is the temperature down around Hagensborg today, with a heavy rain starting around dark and cloudy skies most of the day. Minus 6 and blue sky was the temperature at East Branch at the top of The Hill in Heckman Pass today. It was very pleasant at East Branch, but not so nice down in the valley tonight with the hard rain. Grizzly
No weather extremes in the Bella Coola Valley today, just steady temperatures at 0 C and no winds. The clear skies faded in the afternoon as some cloud moved in and starts to prepare us for the next period of instability. It will get better now that we are past the solstice and fully into winter. Grizzly
After 4 days of mostly rain, with one of snow, this afternoon appears to be a change day in the Bella Coola Valley - at least for a day and then more snow/rain/freezing for the rest of the week and the Christmas weekend is forecast. In spite of all those days of rain, because the freezing level stayed near the valley bottom or at least below 1000 m, the Bella Coola River is up and a little bit coloured, but still not in bad shape. Grizzly
At the risk of messing up real bad in spelling and describing the location of another range of important mountains in the West Chilcotin after last weekend's attempt at describing and spelling the Ilgachuz Range, I had to take the plunge because the photo I was able to get today of the nearly perfect view easterly from the top of the Tweedsmuir Ski Club ski hill was too good to pass up. The Ilgachuz Range is on the left and the Itcha Range is on the right.
While the Ilgachuzs are North of Anahim Lake, the Itchas are 43 km Northeast of Anahim Lake. Both look really impressive in the winter after a fresh snowfall.
On the weather front, I gave up with Bella Coola Valley weather after 48 hours of wet snow and well over 100 mm of cold rain, I went to East Branch which is in Tweedsmuir Park at the top of the Highway 20 hill. In a space of an hour's travel the temperature changed from 0 C with heavy cloud to -10 C and as blue as you see in the photo, that's the beauty of the rain shadow effect of the Coast Mountains and Bella Coola, you can always escape into the sun by going east. The rainstorm in Bella Coola brought about 50 cm of powder snow to the East Branch area, with a base at the ski hill of 142 cm (56"), conditions are in good shape for snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling at East Branch. Meanwhile the temperature continues to hang around 0 C and 1 C in the Bella Coola Valley. Grizzly
Since noon on Friday, the Bella Coola Valley has been receiving continuous and fairly heavy rain, something in excess of 100 mm in 24 hours. The temperature at valley bottom has not moved between 0 C and 1 C further west at the airport. The rain is not freezing rain but it is very cold and after all that rain fell, there has not been a noticeable melt in the 20 cm snow that fell Thursday night and Friday morning, even the snow on the trees has not fallen. It's a good thing, because the total precipitation in this storm was well up there and with the right thawing conditions and the high snow pack already in the mountains, it could have been a moderate flood. Sorry no photo again - the clouds and mist never lifted enough to see the mountains. Grizzly
A mess is what the Bella Coola Valley looked like this afternoon. Last night we received +-20 cm of snow, but by mid morning in most of the lower valley it had turned to rain. The temperature persisted right around 0 C all day, even tonight, but the precipitation has been mostly heavy rain. I'm pretty sure the snow level is low, and most of the precipitation is coming down as snow at higher altitudes, because I've heard several avalanches rumbling off the mountains tonight and my satellite internet has been out for while which it does when there is heavy snow up in the atmosphere. Let's hope the weather rain warning we have is gone for tomorrow, maybe I'll be able to get a picture. Grizzly
Even if I had tried it would have been a waste of time trying to get a photo in the lower Bella Coola Valley today, it was such a dreary, foggy, slightly drizzly day that you would have been disappointed. Tonight it has turned to snow in my portion of the valley, so we'll probably get a little bit, but it's close to rain lower down the valley. Grizzly
On Tuesday the Bella Coola Valley received a bit more snow throughout most of the valley. By late Tuesday afternoon it had turned to a light rain and that's kind of the way it's been off and on the rest of Tuesday and for today. The freezing level is just barely above the valley floor, where you can see a clear snow line, but on the valley bottom, 0 C is enough to keep most of the areas snow covered. Grizzly
Grizzly is up to the task of admitting mistakes. In my post on Sunday on the Ulkatcho Mountains, I used a wrong spelling which is more commonly associated with the Ulkatcho First Nations reserve (and home of famous NHL'er Carey Price) and the old settlement of Ulkatcho. The correct spelling of the mountains according to Natural Resources Canada, who keep the official Geographic Names of Canada database is Ilgachuz Range
I'll even go so far as to restate that the Ilgachuz Ranges are actually north of Anahim Lake BC and not "east" as originally stated or "northeast" in my comment to "O" since the longitude given by Natural Resources Canada of Anahim Lake is 125º 19' W while the Ilgachuz Range is listed by Natural Resource Canada located at 125º 15' W, hardly worth arguing with, over 4' of EASTERLY longitude, but definitely not west of Anahim as suggested by "O" - well maybe the 'foothills' of the Ilgachuz might spill over to the west a tiny bit!! I hope "O" will still read my blog to keep me on my toes! Grizzly
A view of the distant Ulkatcho Mountains located to the east of Anahim Lake, B.C. The view is from the top of the small Tweedsmuir Ski Club ski hill in Tweedsmuir Park. It was a nice day in the Bella Coola Valley and the Chilcotin. Grizzly
Environment Canada was accurate with the weather predictions. Depending on where you lived in the Bella Coola Valley you received between 5 and 8 cm of snow which started around midnight and quit just after daylight. It made seeing the lunar eclipse in Bella Coola a non event. The scenery was nice this morning as the snow was just perfect for sticking on the trees. Grizzly
After the Great Flood of 2010 and then again the 2011 flood, the banks of the Bella Coola River are lined with a whole new crop of trees leaning over the river caused by undermined banks. These are favourites of the bald eagles who now have many of these trees that allow them to sit directly over the river and spend hours staring down waiting for an unsuspecting coho or trout to come along. The water s getting very clear now as well which makes their challenge a little bit easier.
A little bit of a weather system is sliding through Bella Coola tonight as it moves down the coast. It warmed up from -4 C to 0 in relatively short time period and is supposed to snow a bit overnight before returning back to some better weather later on the weekend. Grizzly
I was away a few days this week. A couple of days were warmer and really knocked back the snow on the valley bottom, so that a lot of areas which had snow are nearly bare. Today was nice and the skies this evening are clear with -3 C temperatures. Grizzly
Today was a non eventful weather day in the Bella Coola Valley. The eagles are watching the Bella Coola River closely for late coho and the valley deer are enjoying lght snow pack on the valley bottom that makes their life easy. No rain/snow or major wind events today and some better weather forecast. Grizzly
Last weekend in the Bella Coola Valley when we were experiencing some of the heavy rainfall the coast was getting, parts of the lower Bella Coola Valley warmed up and the snow on the mountains in the lower elevations started to liquefy for a period. During a brief period there were a number of spots between Hagensborg and the Bella Coola Valley wharf where debris avalanches occurred -- flows of mostly snow mixed with wood, soil and rock. When they came down it happened quickly and because they were highly liquid they flowed a long way into places not seeing that type of event for a long time. Grizzly
Two more weeks of what? December 15th is my benchmark for when we've finally made it through the summer to winter transition and the relentless fall Pacific storm season on the coast. It's only my rule of thumb subject to wide variation but it seems a week or so before the equinox is when things finally stabilize and the weather systems we get are either more blue sky weather and cold or they are rain or snow storms that seem to have a beginning/middle and an end in a short period of time. Of course this fall and last fall being back to back La Nina years might make my observations irrelevant. Grizzly