Monday’s snow fall may not be winter’s last


Some people on the West Shore woke up to snow and ice after what might be winter’s last gasp.

“You can’t really say it’s over until it’s over,” says Environment Climate Change Canada Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Armel Castellan.

Castellan predicts as much as 10 centimetres fell in the afternoon and evening in parts of the West Shore in a snow event that didn’t materialize until well into the day.

“It was not in the forecast yesterday (Monday) morning,” he says. Some areas in Greater Victoria saw hail, while others saw no precipitation at all.

“You get a situation where one neighbourhood gets a ton of snow, and the next one over gets none,” Castellan says.

Areas in Langford were hit hardest, as conditions came together quickly.

“Contrary to summer when we think about instability and thunderstorm development because the ground is warm, this is the opposite,” says Castellan.

“It’s the upper elevations of the atmosphere that’s cold, and that’s creating the instability, hence some very quick accumulations.”

The timing of the snowfall was ironic, as Destination Greater Victoria launched its annual Flower Count on Monday afternoon.

Astrid Chang is the executive director of corporate communications and community relations for Destination Greater Victoria. She’s also a trained meteorologist and confirms the tongue-in-cheek flower count did not serve to anger the weather gods in our area.

“I’m saying that sometimes snow happens in Victoria, but it doesn’t actually last long,” says Chang.

We’re still two weeks away from the start of spring, but Castellan says the ingredients are still there for another snow event.

“The high-resolution models that didn’t pick up yesterday evening’s pulse are showing something for late Wednesday, so we’ll keep an eye on it and make sure people are alerted if it turns into a localized snow event.”

READ ALSO: ‘Bragging rights’: As buds already bloom, Greater Victoria Flower Count kicks off 49th year

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