In Prince George, the month of March sometimes goes out like a lion.
Well October left us like a wolverine.
The past week packed plenty of bite, with bone-chilling temperatures and 28 centimetres of snow, creating havoc on our roads and making it tough for trick or treating kids Wednesday night.
It was a crazy month, no doubt it was three seasons," said Environment Canada meteorologist Jim Steele. "The first couple weeks of October were pretty nice, with daytime highs in the teens except for the 10th and 11th, when it dropped to single digits. Then fall came around for about a week, from the 17th to the 23rd, and then winter came with absolutely no class whatsoever."
The cold snap made us forget how unseasonably warm and sunny it was in the first half of the month. Most gardens and tender annual flowers were still alive until killing frosts came after Thanksgiving, about a month later than normal.
When all the numbers were crunched, however, compared to most years in P.G., October was a cool and wet month. The cold end to the month sent the averages plunging. The mean temperature of 1.5 C was below the normal 4.6 C. The average daily high of 6.7 C for the month was well off the 9.5 C average, while the average daily low of -3.8 C was colder than the -0.4 C normal.
The warmest day was the 9th, 18.7 C, while the 30th was the coldest, -20.7 C.
The cold arctic air that descended on the city stopped short of Kamloops. The coldest the desert city got in October was -1.5 C on the 17th.
Total precipitation in our city amounted to 75.4 millimetres, 30 per cent more than the normal 57.9 mm. Total rainfall for the month was 49.3 mm, close to the normal 50 mm. That included the record 16.4 mm downpour that set a record for Oct. 12. But the most telling statistic that made the month unusual was the total snowfall of 28 centimetres, 333 per cent beyond the normal 8.4 cm. Most of that, 17 cm, fell on the 29th.
There was measurable precipitation on 12 days, slightly below the normal 15 days.
The seven-day forecast calls for a warming trend the next few days with a daytime high of 0 C, before the mild air pushes through on the weekend with highs of 5 C and 8 C and light rain expected after overnight freezing. The sun will return Monday before it starts to cool off again Tuesday and Wednesday, then warming up for a few more days before we get back into winter.
The trend into the Remembrance Day weekend will be cooler, with an increasing chance of snow.
Steele has bad news for people under the impression the west coast is in for an El Nio winter, which brings southerly flows, moister air and above-normal temperatures. It's not happening.
"El Nio has decided it's not going to play this year," said Steele.
The seasonal forecast for November, December and January calls for normal to below-normal temperatures and precipitation.