Rocky walk is all part of the experience for kids before reaching the Chemainus River. (Photo by Don Bodger)

August rainfall heavier than usual but less frequent

Warm weather during the latter part of the month extending well into September

Heavier than usual, but less frequent rainfall and a spectacular thunderstorm highlighted the August weather scene in the Chemainus Valley.

There were also long stretches of warm weather expected to continue well into September.

“Since the summer weather didn’t arrive early this year for the first time in half a decade, hopes were raised it might not end early either as had also become the norm – an early start to any temperature trend in any given year usually also means an early end due to something called the ‘annual heat budget’ of the atmosphere,” noted Chris Carss, a volunteer weather observer/recorder for Environment Canada at his Chemainus home.

“So far, the long range outlook seems to be confirming strong probabilities of sunny dry weather with above normal temperatures that should continue until the very last few days of the month to give us one of those vintage Septembers that used to be quite common here in years gone by.”

August brought a little bit of just about everything.

“The most notable things about the August weather this year in the Chemainus Valley were probably the heavier than usual rainfalls and some loud thunderstorms that lit up the sky during the evening of the 16th,” Carss elaborated. “The total rainfall for August was about 1 1/2 times the normal, which was likely enough to help keep local gardens and lawns green for most of the month. However, the actual number of days with rainfall remained very close to normal. The precipitation was just heavier than usual, but not more frequent.

“The thunderstorms ushered in a brief heatwave that brought us our hottest temperatures of the year the following day. Due to the brevity of the hot weather, our mean maximum and minimum temperatures remained pegged at right on normal. We also had our normal dose of sunshine for the month, which hopefully made the wet days easier to tolerate.”

August’s mean maximum temperature of 23.6 Celsius and minimum of 14.0 C were separated by just a fraction from the respective normals of 23.7 C and 14.2 C. The extreme maximum of 31.5 C occurred on Aug 17 and the extreme minimum of 10.5 C was on Aug 30.

Days of mostly or partly sunny conditions matched the normal of 19 days with sunshine .

Total rainfall of 57.3 millimetres was up considerably from the normal of 36.2 mm.

Of the 12 mostly cloudy days, eight had rainfall with one additional day bringing a thunderstorm. The normal in August is eight days with rain or showers.

On Thetis Island, Keith Rush recorded 61.9 mm of rain in August at his Foster Point Road residence. Last year’s total for August was just 13.1 mm and the average for the month is 17.9 mm.

For the year to date, precipitation on Thetis is at 703.4 mm, substantially more than the 416.5 mm to this point last year.

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Steep cliff provides the backdrop to a popular swimming spot on the Chemainus River. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Walk over the rocks is required to reach the swimming area on the Chemainus River. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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