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August brings some heat relief, but only minimal rainfall

Chemainus and Thetis Island monthly totals paltry compared to the norm
Parents and their kids explore Kin Beach on a beautiful day. (Photo by Don Bodger)

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that a minimal amount of rain fell across the Chemainus Valley during August.

Following a complete blank slate of precipitation in July, Chris Carss recorded 5.7 millimetres of rain at his Chemainus home where he serves as a volunteer weather recorder for Environment Canada and Keith Rush observed 7.6 mm in his rain gauge on Foster Point Road on Thetis Island for all of August.

Related story: Precipitation shutout recorded during July

Those totals represent the total rainfall for each jurisdiction since mid-June when an extreme heat dome enveloped the area later in the month and set the stage for an extremely dry summer.

“August brought intermittent relief from the oppressive heat of late June and much of July,” noted Carss. “The month started off very warm with above normal temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s for the first five days. After that, conditions moderated to near normal values in the mid 20s.

“A brief heat wave halfway through August drove daytime temperatures way up into the mid 30s for a day or two, but then fell back to the seasonal mid 20s after that. By the last couple of days of August, daytime temperatures had fallen even further to the upper teens with cloudy weather that anticipated the fall season. Overall, the temperature regime averaged about a degree above normal. After a precipitation-free July, a little bit of rain returned at widely separated intervals during August, but mostly sunny and dry conditions prevailed, and the total rainfall for the month came out to only a small fraction of the seasonal normal.”

The normal rainfall for August is 36.2 mm.

Other statistics from Carss for August 2021 include: a mean maximum temperature of 24.8 Celsius (normal 23.7 C); mean minimum temperature 15.6 C (normal 14.2 C); extreme maximum 36.0 C on Aug. 12; extreme minimum temperature 11.0 C on Aug. 28; mostly or partly sunny and dry days, 25 (normal 19); days with mostly cloudy or partly sunny conditions with some rain or showers, four (normal eight); days mostly cloudy and dry, two; and days mostly or partly sunny, with or without rain, 27.

Rush’s comparison is astounding on Thetis to August 2020 when the rainfall total was 61.9 mm. However, the average August on Thetis yields just 17.1 mm.

Total precipitation for the year to date on Thetis is 442.5 mm, well below the 703.4 mm at this time last year.

As the calendar flipped over to another month, it’s hard to say what will happen overall in the region. September can be a rather wet month, but also with long stretches of warm summer weather continuing.

“September started off sunny with near to slightly above normal temperatures,” added Carss. “There may be a few widely scattered showers later in the month, but the overall pattern is expected to continue sunny and dry with slightly above normal temperatures.”

Local wildfires were significant during August. This image was captured from Thetis Island of the Mount Hayes wildfire outside Ladysmith. (Photo by Kristina Kasting)

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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