Smoke from Washington State fires drifted up to Chilliwack and beyond in early October 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)

Smoke from Washington State fires drifted up to Chilliwack and beyond in early October 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)

October weather was slightly warmer than usual in Chilliwack

Temperatures for the month peaked early with a balmy 24.5 C reached on October 2

October weather was a little warmer than usual in Chilliwack, with smoky skies returning briefly from climate fires down south.

“The dry, warm and sunny conditions of late September continued into the first week of October, as a strong upper level ridge of high pressure deflected the jet stream to northern British Columbia,” said Roger Pannett, volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada, in his monthly report for October 2020.

Temperatures for the month peaked at a balmy 24.5 C on October 2, which was more than six degrees above normal. It was the warmest October day since 2012.

Freezing levels rose to 14,500 feet, but skies were also hazy because of high-level smoke and particulate matter drifting into Canada from Washington State and California taking air quality from ‘good’ to ‘moderate’ in early October.

The AQ was much worse in September however.

The more typical fall weather conditions returned with a heavy rainfall of 56.9 mm on October 9 with a mild, moist south westerly air flow there were two overnight high temperature records observed:

• October 8 High Minimum 13.7 C (6.7 C above normal) 13.0C in 2015.
• October 9 High Minimum 13.5 C (6.8 C above normal) 13.0 C in 1979.

Fast-moving Pacific frontal systems produced periods of rain for a couple of weeks with falling freezing levels, high elevation mountain snowfalls.

On October 13, high winds gusting up to 74 km/hour produced widespread power outages.

With the passage of a low-pressure system, passing just off Vancouver Island and moving onto the Washington coast, modified arctic air advanced southward through the Interior. On October 23 a heavy snowfall closed the Coquihalla highway for several hours. In the wake of the low-pressure system a drying trend developed, for a few days, as modified arctic air with cold outflow winds occurred.

Three low temperature records were broken: –

October 24- Low max 6.5⁰C (6.3⁰C below normal) 6.7 C in 1934.

October 25 – Low max 5.5⁰C (7.4⁰C below normal) 6.1 C in 1975.

October 25 – Low mean 2.55⁰C (6.75⁰c below normal) 2.8 C in 1919.

READ MORE: AQ saw plume of smoke drifting up from down south

There were two frosts with temperatures dipping to -0.4 C, plus wind chill, on October 25. On average the first frost of the season occurs, in Chilliwack, on November 9. In 2020 there were 203 frost free days compared to the average 216 frost free days.

After some wet snow, during the early hours of October 26, weather conditions returned to normal with the month concluding with clear, sunny skies and mild temperatures.

With mean temperatures 0.67 C above normal it was the warmest October since 2015.

The City of Chilliwack year-to-date precipitation totals are 1,155.1 mm on 154 days compared to the 30-year average of 1,346.7 mm on 133 days.

READ MORE: AQ in the LM was the worst in September

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