Recent Items – 2004-2005
By Gary Rusak, March 2005
The sun was shining and the temperatures were well above average in what was the warmest February in the city in nearly 30 years.
“You have the warm air coming up from the south that hits the mountains perfectly. It then comes roaring down and hits Dawson Creek,” said William Miller, client services at Meteorological Canada’s office in Whitehorse. “If the winds are a little different, the chinook will miss you guys. Everything has to work right with those winds coming in.”
The average temperature for the month was 6.8 degrees above normal. Record highs were recorded on Feb. 10, 11 and 23. The highest temperature was 11.6 degrees recorded on Feb. 23, just slightly higher than the previous high, 11 degrees in 1997. Records were first compiled in the city in 1968.
As well, the overnight lows were substantially higher and the warmest that have been recorded since 1991. Overall, to find a warmer February one would have to look back to 1977.
“A lot of it is that you have all this really warm air streaming north from the way south Pacific,” said Miller. “It’s keeping the temperatures up there.”
And Miller said the forecast is for more of the same to start March. “It should continue to get warmer,” he said. “I would think that the next two weeks or so things are looking real nice with above normal temperatures across the board.”
Miller said that a ridge developing over the city should keep the temperatures warm and the sky clear for the time being. However, there is a system to the west that could disrupt the placidity.
“We do have a really deep low in the Gulf of Alaska right now,” he said. “And that is going to start coming on shore in the Charlottes and the north coast and along the Alaska panhandle. How well that is going to make it across the ridge is really difficult to tell. If it makes it across still intact you could get some precipitation and colder temperatures.”
But, Miller added, don’t get on your winter boots on just yet. “Right now the ridge is going to dominate,” he said. “That means sunny and warm.”