Chilliwack heats up, but 2012 wettest since ’97

A general warming trend continued in Chilliwack in 2012 with 14 days over 30 degrees Celsius, longer than the average seven days, for the 11th consecutive year.

That’s a trend “never previously observed,” says Roger Pannett, Environment Canada’s volunteer weather observer in Chilliwack.

He said with ten high-temperature records in Chilliwack, and only one low-temperature record, the mean temperature for 2012 was 0.36 C above normal “continuing the general warming trend which commenced in 1986.”

The mercury in Chilliwack hit a record-breaking 34.6 C on Aug. 17 and dipped to a low of -14.0 C on Jan. 18.

Pannett said the coldest and wettest June since 1981 preceded the driest August and September since Chilliwack records started in 1879.

With total precipitation slightly above normal, 2012 was the wettest year since 1997.

Four 24-hour rainfall records occurred during the year, which included the 13.1 mm rainfall on July 23, which made it statistically the driest day of the year.

“This was followed by an amazing 80 days with minimal rainfall,” Pannett said.

But there were 8 cm of snow on the ground come Dec. 25 making it the first white Christmas in Chilliwack since 2008.

Pannett said white Christmases in Chilliwack also occurred in 2007, 2000, 1996 and 1990.

December temperatures hit a high of 10.4 C on Dec. 3 and a low of -3.2 C on Dec. 31.

“With an on-going series of Pacific frontal systems moving across the province, weather conditions (in December) were generally dismal with 23 consecutive days of precipitation,” Pannett said.

There were only three dry days, the lowest December total in over 31 years, he said.

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