Winter had a familiar feel in 1956

Echoes from the Past: From the files, March 8, 1956

More than six inches of snow was dumped on the Agassiz-Harrison Hot Springs area on Wednesday morning in what is hoped to have been the parting shot of the longest winter in local history.

Harry Fooks, who can’t remember winters here for the past 67 years-longer even than the Experimental Farm has kept records-says he can’t recall a year when there was anything remotely like it.

There has been as much as three feet of snow in March. It is the first time there has been a winter that started early in November and was still going strong in March. In the early days winter weather was usually limited to January.

Mr. Fooks isn’t saying that winter is over yet. The Indians used to say that anyone who tried to predict the weather in Agassiz was a cheechako – a newcomer and Mr. Fooks certainly isn’t that.

This year winter set in on November 11 and by the 13th the temperature was down to 6 above.

Mean temperature in Nov. was 34.6. There was 12.3 inches if snow and only 42.1 hours of sun.

In December minimum temperature was 16 and mean was 37.5. Fourteen inches of snow fell and the sun shone 41.2 hours.

January minimum was 14 and mean 33.7. Fifteen inches of snow fell and the sun shone 31.3 hours.

In February the bottom dropped out, with a minimum of 3.5 above. Only three Februaries have had colder days. In 1893 it hit 12 below. Mean in February was 32.2, the lowest of the winter. Average for the month is 33.7. There were 19.2 inches of snow and 6.72 inches of rain. Total precipitation was 8.64 inches compared to an average of 6.11.

Sun shone 37.3 hours, compared to an average of 71.2. Total sunshine in four months has been only 160 hours.

Maximum temperature in February was 48, which was as hot as it has been all winter.

School Open House Postponed For Week Because Of Snow.

The Open House at Agassiz Elementary- Senior High School, which was planned for Wednesday, was postponed for a week because of the heavy snow falling on Wednesday morning.

The open house will be from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Harrison Hot Springs School was open Tuesday afternoon, and Harrison River School will be open today.

During Education Week the BC School Trustees Association released figures that show the extent of the growing problem of education in B.C.

Where there were only 164,200 pupils in B.C. schools five years before there were 223,840 last year. By 1960 there are expected to be 295,000 and by 1965, 360,000. Number of teachers needed will increase in the same period from 5,873 to 12,500.

Cost of educating each pupil has increased even faster. In 1949-50 it was $167 a year. Now it is $246 a year. More than half the cost is teachers salaries.


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