Prince George, British Columbia
Prince George is located in the Fraser-Fort George Regional District near the transition between the northern and southern portions of the Rocky Mountain Trench. Prince George proper contains several areas: South Fort George, the Hart, the residential and light industrial neighbourhoods north of the Nechako River; College Heights, the southern part of the city which contains a mix of residential and commercial areas, and the Bowl, the valley that includes most of the city and the downtown. There are also a number of outlying localities that are also part of Prince George, such as Carlson. The cutbanks of the Nechako River are one of Prince George’s many interesting geological features.
Local wild edible fruit include bunchberries, rose hips, blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries, chokecherries, strawberries, raspberries, saskatoons, currants, gooseberries, and soapberries (from which “Indian ice cream” is made). Morel mushrooms are also native to this area.
The area had a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc) as recently as the 1961-1990 normals period, with only three months averaging above 10 °C (50.0 °F). Due to recent warming the area has switched to a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classificationDfb), as both May and September mean temperatures have crept above the 10 °C (50.0 °F) threshold for the 1981-2010 normals period at Prince George Airport. Winters are milder than the latitude and elevation might suggest: the January average is −9.6 °C (14.7 °F), and there are an average of 38 days from December to February where the high reaches or surpasses freezing. Winter months in which Pacific air masses dominate may thaw on a majority of days, as in January 2006 when the mean daily maximum temperature was 1.5 °C (35 °F). On the other hand, Arctic air masses can settle over the city for weeks at a time; in rare cases, such as January 1950, the temperature stays well below freezing over a whole calendar month. Summer days are warm, with a July high of 23.1 °C (74 °F), but lows are often cool, with monthly lows averaging below 10 °C (50 °F). The transition between winter and summer, however, is short. There is some precipitation year-round, but February to April is the driest period. Snow averages 216 centimetres (85.0 in) each year and is heaviest in December and January, usually, but not always, falling between October and May.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Prince George was 38.9 °C (102 °F) on 17 July 1941. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −50.0 °C (−58 °F) on 2 January 1950 at Prince George Airport.