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 Climate of BC

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Rosella
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Posts : 85
Join date : 2013-01-21

PostSubject: Climate of BC   Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:01 pm

As a result of Kuroshio Current
(also known as the Japan Current), which crosses the North Pacific
Ocean, coastal British Columbia has a mild, rainy oceanic climate. Due
to the blocking presence of successive mountain ranges, the Interior of
the province has a semi-arid climate with certain locations receiving
less than 250 mm (10") in annual precipitation. The annual mean
temperature in the most populated areas of the province are above 10 °C (50 °F), the mildest anywhere in Canada.

Winters can be severe in the Interior and the North. For example, the average overnight low in Prince George (roughly located in the middle of the province) in January is −14 °C (7 °F). The coldest temperature in British Columbia was recorded in Smith River, where it dropped to −58.9 °C (−74 °F),
one of the coldest readings recorded anywhere in North America.
Southern Interior valleys have shorter winters with brief bouts of cold.
Heavy snowfall occurs in the Coast, Columbia and Rocky Mountains
providing healthy bases for skiers.

On the Coast, rainfall, sometimes relentless heavy rain, dominates in
winter because of consistent barrages of cyclonic low-pressure systems
from the North Pacific, but on occasion (and not every winter) heavy
snowfalls and below freezing temperatures arrive when modified arctic
air reaches coastal areas, typically for short periods. On the opposite
extreme, summers in the Southern Interior valleys are hot; for example
in Osoyoos the July Maximum averages 31.7 °C (89 °F), hot weather sometimes moves towards the Coast or to the far north of the province. Temperatures exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in the lower elevations of interior valleys during mid-summer, with the record high of 44.4 °C (111.9 °F) being held in Lytton on July 16, 1941.

The extended summer dryness often creates conditions that spark
forest fires, from dry-lightning or man-made causes. Coastal areas are
generally milder and dry during summer, under the influence of stable
anti-cyclonic high pressure much of the time. Many areas of the province
are often covered by a blanket of heavy cloud and low fog during
winter, despite sunny summers. Annual sunshine hours vary from 2200 near
Cranbrook and Victoria to less than 1300 in Prince Rupert, located on the North Coast, just south of the Alaska Panhandle.
Much of the province is wild or semi-wild, so that populations of
many mammalian species that have become rare in much of the United
States still flourish in British Columbia. Watching animals of various
sorts, including a very wide range of birds, has also long been popular. Bears (grizzly, black, and the Kermode bear or spirit bear—found only in British Columbia) live here, as do deer, elk, moose, caribou, big-horn sheep, mountain goats, marmots, beavers, muskrat, coyotes, wolves, mustelids (such as wolverines, badgers and fishers), Cougar, eagles, ospreys, herons, Canada geese, swans, loons, hawks, owls, ravens, Harlequin Ducks, and many other sorts of ducks. Smaller birds (robins, jays, grosbeaks, chickadees, and so on) also abound.

Healthy populations of many sorts of fish are found in the waters (including salmonids such as several species of salmon, trout, char, and so on.). Besides salmon and trout, sport-fishers in B.C. also catch halibut, steelhead, bass, and sturgeon. On the coastlines, Harbor Seals and river otters are common. Cetacean species native to the coast include the Orca, Gray Whale, Harbour Porpoise, Dall's Porpoise, Pacific White-sided Dolphin and Minke Whale.
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