Jan 16, 2020
NANAIMO — The snowfall blanketing the region since Sunday night will go into the record books.
Nanaimo Airport set new benchmarks on both Tuesday, Jan. 14 and Wednesday, Jan. 15 for snowfall within a 24 hour period on those dates. The airport recorded 21.2 centimetres on Tuesday, beating the old record of 19.1 centimetres set in 1951.
The most rapidly accumulating snow fell on Wednesday where 18.4 centimetres was measured, besting a 2005 mark of 18.0 centimetres.
Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castallan told NanaimoNewsNOW the Island was in the crosshairs of two major systems from the Pacific.
“The first storm on Tuesday into Wednesday was small, tightly packed and didn’t bring in too much wind but did bring in lots of snow,” Castallan said. “It didn’t shift into rain, which is where we saw 20-30 centimetres or more across much of the Island.”
The second storm brought the heavy winds to much of the region, with winds topping out at 110 kilometres per hour in coastal sections over Nanaimo.
The Harbour City was spared the brunt of heavy Wednesday night winds, which in particular lashed the north and south ends of Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley, cutting off power to thousands of people.
in Nanaimo, snowfall caused school cancellations, garbage collection delays and major slowdowns on area roads, while winds on Wednesday forced a slew of ferry cancellations crossing the Strait of Georgia.