Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Beach....In Bella Coola

Finding a beach this time of year somewhere other than the one in this photo can be a good thing, especially on wet winter like this one in Bella Coola.  Lots of people from Bella Coola do just that, they work hard in the good weather and head to warmer climates for the January and February period, a very good strategy this year.

Couldn't resist this piece of lungwort lichen on the forest floor today, it's always such a contrast in the winter when there is not much greenery to find a piece of lungwort that gets more intense green the wetter and damper it is.

As far as the weather today in the Bella Coola Valley, just dull, grey and moist, more so towards the end of the day and evening where the rain was wandering in and out of snow showers.  Grizzly

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rain on Wet Snow

Not long after my post last night in my area of the valley it turned to steady rain.  It knocked the 30 + cm of snow back a little, but it made it heavy and hard to plow and shovel.  There was a lot less snow further west in the valley, but it warmed up to 3 to 5 C for most of the valley today.  Lots of fresh avalanches which came down yesterday could be seen between clouds.  Grizzly

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Heavy Snow

Environment Canada missed the mark on Bella Coola Valley weather today.  Overnight it started snowing and this evening it is still snowing/raining.  With something in the order of 30 cm of snow falling and at 0 C it's not the lightest stuff ever invented.  A day of digging out tomorrow.  Grizzly

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bella Coola River Estuary

The Bella Coola River estuary is a big and important estuary amongst coastal rivers.  It's important because of the vast number of salmon that come and go through it and the various wildlife species and plants that have evolved in that environment.

It doesn't look very important on a day like today though, dreary, dull and brown are the order of the day.  But you know the days are counting down until the explosion of spring happens again.  Thank God for seasons.  We need spring this year.  Grizzly

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nookliklonnik Ice Shelf

Nookliklonnik aka "Klonnik" Creek is a tributary creek to the Bella Coola River coming in from the south between Hagensborg and the Bella Coola Airport.  Last week during the Arctic Outflow like most of the tributary streams it was pretty much frozen with frazil ice and surface ice.  This week with temperatures hanging around 0 C things are freeing up and starting to run again. 

We had snow again last night in the Bella Coola Valley.  Depending where you live another +- 10 cm. Lower valley snow pack is less than 15 cm, while further east it quickly gets in the 35 to 40 cm range. Grizzly

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wet Snow, Wet Rain!

It was a day of wet snow, followed by wet cold rain with the temperature hanging right at zero.  It made for some nasty driving, 'surfing' the 2" of slush on the highway.  No real break in the forecast either.  Grizzly

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fresh Snow, no Wind, no Rain

A really fine day in the Bella Coola Valley, a very nice way to wrap up the outflow we had all week, with the snowfall in the valley staying dry and easy to shovel and clean up.  Temperatures up to 0 today and just below 0 tonight.  Grizzly

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Outflow #2 Over

Back in November when we had Outflow #1, I commented that in my humble opinion Arctic Outflows in the Bella Coola Valley ended in one of three possible ways.   Those were; 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.

This one had a modified #3 ending - the wind stopped, the temperatures have warmed this evening to a very comfortable -6 c and we have had 10-15 cm of dry snow since this morning.  Tomorrow it is supposed to get warmer, but it looks like a bit of a break between now and another weather system.  Grizzly

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ice Pans

I was surprised today when I looked at the Bella Coola River that there wasn't more ice after such low temperatures for the last four days. I think it's because there is still quite a bit of flow because it wasn't so long ago that we had 100 mm of rain and that hasn't fully drained.  

In any case we seem to be on the back side of this Arctic outflow with diminishing winds and rising temperatures (-13 C tonight).  On to the next phase.  Grizzly

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Smoke on the Water

I'm pretty sure way back in the early 70's when Deep Purple put out their song "Smoke on the Water", they did not have a picture of North Bentinck Arm during a severe Arctic Outflow in mind, but they could have!

Around Bella Coola when you hear the fishermen talking about 'smoke on the water', you know you should be checking the tie up lines on your boat down at the wharf. The Arctic Outflow hitting the near freezing seawater creates water 'smoke' all along the inlet, giving it the appearance along with the wind blowing and the waves, of some sort of boiling cauldron. 

We are going into our third day of outflow tomorrow in the Bella Coola Valley, with the temperatures holding down in the -18 to -20 C range and will be happy to see it warm in the next few days.  Grizzly

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cathedral Point - 111 km/h Gusts

A windy day down in Burke Channel with gusts of 111km/h and a temperature of -15 C.  Here in the Bella Coola Valley we had a low of -21 C last night and high of -18 C today.  Winds are up and down, but it's definately not calm.

This snap shot of recent satellite photo shows the phenomenon of the outflow winds all along the north coast. You can see the wisps of clouds the wind is generating as it comes out of the various valleys and fjords and sweeps out on the Pacific picking up moisture.  It looks interesting in the animated satellite loops tonight.  Grizzly

Monday, January 16, 2012

Outflow #2

Since I'm keeping track of outflows this year, this one is a real one and definitely counts as number two.  Outflow #1 was in mid November and temperatures were only in the -6 or -7 C range, but this one has seen our temperature drop this evening to -17 C and the east wind really picking up.  At Cathedral Point midway down Burke Channel, which is the windiest spot on the coast during an Arctic outflow it is gusting to 89 km/h already this evening. Brrr.  Grizzly

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Heckman Pass

Photos of Highway 20 at Heckman Pass today.

Another great day in the Bella Coola Valley and Chilcotin.  Tonight it`s -10 C in the Valley and -20 or more in the West Chilcotin.  Grizzly

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Arctic Air - No Wind

Normally when the Bella Coola valley sees the Arctic Air that 'burps' out from the cold continental interior of British Columbia, we have some pretty clear signs that it's coming, the most obvious one being the Arctic Outflow winds.  So far as the Arctic air slowly envelops British Columbia and pushes out to the coastal locations we are only seeing the cold clear air.  Later in the week the forecast temperatures are for much colder air to cover us.  Maybe with the twisted weather we have had this winter we might get an Arctic front with cold weather and no outflow winds -- stay tuned for that.

In any case after last night dropped 10 cm of nice dry snow in most of the Bella Coola Valley it was a really nice day today as it gradually cleared and everything was fresh with the new snow.  Grizzly

Friday, January 13, 2012

River Colour

The Bella Coola River has slowing been dropping all week after last weekends 100 mm of rain.  Additionally there was some sort of slide in the Nusatsum River that made it run really muddy most of the week.  So far only a little bit of snow tonight.  Grizzly

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Stats Are In!

Time for a look back at the monthly precipitation statistics for the Bella Coola Airport for 2011.  For 2010's numbers click here.  Call it what you want, but let's just say 2011 was no 2010 and while in 2010 we were drier than Vancouver, the tables turned in 2011.

Bella Coola Airport (mm)
Vancouver Airport (mm)
178.4 (35.0 cm snow)
186.3 (16.1 cm snow)
181.6 (37.0 cm snow)
89.4    (7.0 cm snow)
70.4   (8.8 cm snow)
273.3 (3.2 cm snow)
345.6 (47.6 cm snow)
Total 2011
1815.2 mm total precip
1070.7 mm total precip
1050.5 mm total precip
1207.1 mm total precip
*2011 saw a total of 131.6 cm of snow fall in Bella Coola

You can see September and December weren't kind months for us.   There is always hope that 2012 will be kinder.

Back on this week's weather, after several very acceptable January days, tonight we are back to a little bit of snow/freezing rain and the forecast is for a whole week more of freezing conditions with snow.  Grizzly

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Best Day

Salloomt Peak 1873 m (6145')

Best day of weather in weeks in the Bella Coola Valley today.  With -3 C overnight and a high of plus 1 C and blue sky it's as good as we could ask for.  Grizzly

Monday, January 9, 2012

Finally a Shadow

If you look carefully in the lower left of this photo, you will notice my shadow cast in the Bella Coola River today at noon.  That had to mean we had a few brief moments of sun in the Bella Coola Valley today, which was encouraging.

You will also notice the slightly high coloured look to the Bella Coola River.  That's what nearly a 100 mm of rain in two days on the valley bottom and mid to low elevations brought.  That same rainfall appears to have dumped another metre or so of snow in the mountains above 1500 metres.   

Thanks for the comments to yesterday's post about your weather, it was interesting getting a few snippets around the globe.  Grizzly

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How's Your Weather?

The weather for Saturday and Sunday in the Bella Coola Valley has been so bad I don't even want to talk about.  If you like wet snow, then rain at 0 C, then more wet snow, then much snow in Heckman Pass Highway 20, that the Highway is starting to look like someone's driveway.

Rather than our weather, how about the weather pattern for the last month or so where you are at? If you're from Bella Coola, connected to the Bella Coola Valley, have friends or just like reading the Bellacoolablog, then post a short comment about what kind of a winter or summer you are experiencing wherever you are at in the world.  Hopefully it's all better than ours! I will post them all then maybe it will cheer us up. Grizzly

Friday, January 6, 2012

No Rain

Just a normally average winter day, but very nice because it was cool and no rain in the Bella Coola Valley.  Grizzly

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A One Day Break

This winter, any day in the Bella Coola Valley without rain is a good day.  That's the kind of day it was, cool, a couple little clear spots for brief periods, a few views of the mountains, some very light rain at the end of the day.  All good.  Grizzly

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lungwort Weather

About the only living thing enjoying the drenching cold rain today is the thriving lungworts.  The more it rains the healthier they seem to look!  Grizzly

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Perpetual Pacific Storms

Perpetual Pacific storms seems to be the weather pattern we are locked into.  There just doesn't seem to be a break or Arctic ridge in sight to give us more 'traditional' winter weather.  Today brought more or less steady rain to the Bella Coola Valley and the same 1 to 3 C temperatures.  La Nina conditions in the North Pacific hopefully explain the present relentless onslaught of system after system of wet Pacific weather.  If we had of been getting snow, in the last month of precipitation I wouldn't be writing this blog because my satellite internet dish would have long ago disappeared under the metres of snow!  The picture today was the best I could get....Grizzly

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Grey Start to 2012

In the western end of the Bella Coola Valley the new year started out slightly grey, with a brief period of ice pellets but otherwise relatively calm and grey.  Temperatures still at up and down of 0 C.  Grizzly