How does Victoria’s overnight snowfall compare to the Blizzard of ’96?


The commute across much of Vancouver Island looked a little different Tuesday morning with some even ditching their cars for skis.

Many woke up to what meteorologists are calling an “exceptional” amount of snow, plenty more than was in the forecast.

“This system was heading towards Washington State, the northern edge of it, that’s what was clipping Vancouver Island and that did end up bringing quite a bit of snow especially in the light fluffy nature it measured quite high,” said Bobby Sekhon, meterologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

READ MORE: Massive snowfall brings travel, services to a halt on Vancouver Island

The last time Victoria saw this much snow was on December 21, 2008. The Weather Network says 35 centimetres fell at the airport that day, snarling air travel in and out of Victoria International.

The airport tallied one more centimetre than that during Monday night’s blizzard which topped out at 36 cm. The Malahat saw the greatest snowfall total at 37 cm.

It is a lot, but it’s not even close to Dec. 29, 1996 when 64.5 cm fell, an all-time record for the region, in a weather event so infamous in Victoria history that it was officially dubbed the Blizzard of ’96.

“That’s an incredible amount of snow and obviously those who were around remember the impacts of that including just crippling transportation, the weight on structures causing things to collapse, things like that, it was quite an exceptional event that one,” said Sekhon.

And perhaps no one knows that better than Megan Egilson, the Saanich woman was born on that day in 1996. The roads to the hospital were impassable so her parents had to improvise.

“It was out of the question so just born in the house, downstairs,” Egilson said.

Looking outside on Tuesday, she says she is getting a glimpse of what that day may have been like.

“I looked outside and I thought wow, this was like what my mom would have kind of felt and seen and expected and I got really excited,” she said.

Because of course the ‘Blizzard Baby of 96’ loves the snow as she joins those around the region digging out from one of the top five snowiest days in recorded history.

Blizzard of 96 BabyBorn during the infamous Blizzard of ’96, Megan Egilson reflects on Tuesday’s storm. Dec. 20, 2022.
April LawrenceApril Lawrence

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!