It was a cold night under clear skies in Chilliwack on Oct. 10 that the first frost of the season arrived ahead of schedule.
“It was the earliest fall frost in almost 32 years,” said Roger Pannett, volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada.
On average the first frost in Chilliwack brings white tips to the garden by around Nov. 9.
“Coupled with the second frost of the month, on October 30, the minimum temperature of -1.3 C — which was 5.9 C below normal — was the lowest temperature, and the most October frosts since 2009,” Pannett said in a monthly report written from data he collects from his home in Sardis.
Frost-free days for 2019 added up to 211 days compared to the average of 216 days.
“During the first week a series of Pacific frontal systems invaded the Province producing cool, damp conditions.”
A cold front that swept down from the north on Oct. 8 produced heavy mountain snowfalls and record low temperatures. That was the “coldest October day” in seven years, and over the lunch hour temperatures plummeted to a chilly 4.3 C with accumulating hail.
The day before, October 7, temperatures peaked for the month at 17.9 C the lowest October maximum temperature in 24 years. With mean temperatures 1.34 C below normal, it was the coldest October since 1990. Records show that December 1990 and January 1991 were cold and snowy.
The passage of an intense cold front on Oct. 25 produced strong, gusty winds and the last rainfall of the month, plus a localized hailstorm that evening. The month concluded with an upper level, off shore, ridge of high pressure producing cool, sunny weather conditions with the humidity down to 17 per cent on October 29.
Total rainfall for the month was 14.3 per cent below normal.
The year-to-date precipitation totals are 1,001.1 mm on 120 days compared to the 30 year average of 1,346.7 mm on 133 days.