The Chemainus River is down to a trickle in spots with drought-like conditions for more than a month. (Photo by Don Bodger)

July heats up and precipitation drops to drought levels in the Chemainus Valley

Less than a millimetre of rain recorded during the entire month

It’s becoming the norm, with July 2018 falling into the recent pattern of being an exceptionally warm and dry month in the Chemainus Valley.

Daytime temperatures averaged about three degrees Celsius above normal and total rainfall for entire month amounted to less than one millimetre, according to Chemainus weather observer Chris Carss.

“During the second half of the month, the sky was frequently covered or partly covered by smoke aloft caused by forest fires which, along with the droughts, are increasingly becoming a regular part of the summer season in southwestern B.C.,” Carss added. “The dry conditions continued into early August although temperatures moderated to more normal values for a few days before returning to above normal once again.”

The mean daily maximum temperature for July was 26.9 C, more than three degrees above the normal of 23.7 C. The mean minimum was also much warmer at 15.6C than the normal of 13.3 C.

July 30 brought the month’s extreme maximum of 33 C, with a peak Humidex of 37 C. The extreme minimum was 10.5 C on July 3.

Days with mostly or partly sunny conditions reached 25. The normal is 19.

Of the six mostly cloudy days, three had very light rainfall. The normal number of days with precipitation is seven.

This is where the dryness of July really hit home. The total rainfall was a mere 0.4 mm compared to the normal of 27.5 mm.

“The outlook for the remainder of August calls for a moderation in temperatures once again by the end of this week, but with a continuation of the drought conditions until early September,” noted Carss.

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