December was a mild month in the Kootenays. Weather Forecaster with the Southeast Fire Centre Ron Lakeman says the mean monthly temperature was two degrees more mild than usual. The level of precipitation was average, however due to the mild temperatures there was less snow accumulation.

“A lot of the snow either melts on contact or you’ll get maybe a centimeter of a build up for what actually fell, was two centimeters. In comparison to other Decembers the mild temperatures did have an impact on the amount of snow which actually accumulated in the valley. When we look at the amount of precipitation which fell as snow versus rain it was actually very close to normal.”

The coldest it got last month was -9.7 degrees on December 22 and the most significant snowfall was 17 centimeters on the 11.

A look back at the weather for the entire year, Lakeman describes it as abnormally normal. “Total amount of precipitation was actually within one millimeter of normal, which is abnormally normal. So we had had a very warm, dry summer and yet the amount of precipitation through the calendar year, 2018, was very close to normal, 751 millimeters.”

It was also only 0.5 of a degree warmer than the average mean annual temperature of 8.7 degrees as well.

The warmest year on record is 2015 with a mean monthly temperature of 10.2 degrees. The wettest year on record is 2012 with 1089.6 mm. The driest is 1985 with 479.5 mm.