Old Man Winter’s grasp on Agassiz-Harrison hasn’t loosened yet as the community braces for icy conditions.
According to Weather Canada, Agassiz-Harrison set temperature records for four straight days this week, including the first day of winter. Most of the records broken were set in 1990. Wednesday and Thursday (Dec. 20 and 21) were the coldest at -13.6 C.
Weather Canada data suggests low temperature of -9.4 C on Friday (Dec. 23) will be just a little warmer than the 1996 record of -9.6 C.
The low temperatures from this recent weather event presents a striking contrast to average weather in Agassiz-Harrison, according to the Canadian climate normals from Environment Canada, which records average and extreme weather patterns for 30 years at a time.
According to Canadian climate normals from 1981 to 2010 (the most recent data set), temperatures in December typically averaged 3.2 C with an average snow depth of 4 centimetres by the end of the month. The lowest temperature for December was recorded on Dec. 1, 1935, in which the mercury dropped to -21.1 C with the all-time record set on Jan. 31, 1893 at a bone-chilling -25 C.
During the snowstorms recorded this week, wind chills dipped temperatures down to -25 C and - 30 C in some areas of the Fraser Valley. Agassiz-Harrison, however, didn’t get quite cold enough to hit all-time records, but temperatures still fell to about -14 C before wind chill.
Historically, January and February tend to be warmer than December, averaging 3.4 C and 5.1 C for high temperatures, respectively, and 2.2 C and 1.9 C for low temperatures. It tends to snow the most in January, averaging 20.3 centimetres over the course of 30 years. However, the all-time record for snowfall was actually set on Nov. 16, 1996 when 48.3 centimetres fell in a single day.