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Vancouver received a whopping 34 cm of snowfall in 5 days: Environment Canada

This was not an average January.
Photo: snow in Vancouver / Shutterstock

If you felt like Vancouver received an unusual amount of snowfall for January, you aren't alone. 

The city saw some snowflakes on Boxing Day, but none of the snow was really sticking to the ground at lower elevations in December. And while there wasn't any snowfall in the first week of the new year, very cold arctic air from the B.C. Interior began to make its way to the South Coast. Once it arrived, it provided the best snow-making conditions of the winter season thus far. 

In addition to ideal snow-making conditions, the cold arctic air brought some chilling lows. In fact, the City of Vancouver saw temperatures dip down to minus seven or lower, with the wind chill factor making temperatures feel decidedly frigid. 

Vancouver Is Awesome spoke to Bobby Sekhon, Meteorologist, Environment Canada, about how much snowfall Vancouver received in the past week, as well as what locals can expect in the weeks to come.

"We are behind last night's system, but we have a lot of unstable air in the area," he explains. "The bands of snow are now over Abbotsford, but there is still some unstable cold air left behind."

Sekhon notes that convective cells are difficult to predict, and that there has even been a couple of lightning strikes on the South Coast. He adds, however, that the cold weather is making its way out of the Lower Mainland. With that being said, he remarks that Metro Vancouver could see another five centimetres of snowfall tomorrow morning. 

"We will likely see rainfall right after that, though, which should continue into the weekend."

When asked if the Lower Mainland would get hit with another chilly, snowy February, Sekhon couldn't say for sure. With this in mind, he notes that mid-range models through the end of January are showing fairly average temperatures. 

According to Sekhon, Vancouver International Airport received a staggering 34 cm of snowfall between Jan. 10 and Jan. 15. To put that in perspective, he reports that YVR only saw a trace amount of snowfall in Jan. 2019. So, while the average snowfall amount for the month is 11 cm, he notes that this figure doesn't tell the full story. 

"That number is an average of all the months. It doesn't show the differences in years."

The Vancouver forecast is calling for mainly cloudy skies this evening with a 40 per cent chance of flurries or rain showers. Snow is expected to begin before morning.