A cloudy, but scenic day in Chemainus with low tide at Kin Park and another freighter anchored in the usual spot in the background. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Long April dry spell part of three phases to the month

Rainy last few days a boost, but precipitation total still below normal

April weather had its ups and downs in the Chemainus Valley, but included a long dry spell in the middle of the month.

“Overall though, it was a mostly dry month with above normal sunshine and below normal precipitation that continued the trend that started in March,” observed Chemainus’ Chris Carss, a volunteer weather recorder for Environment Canada.

The weather came in three distinct phases during the month, he added.

“The first four days saw unsettled conditions with periods of light rain, which was followed by a longer dry stretch of sunny to partly sunny weather that lasted until the middle of the month. The second half of the month was mostly cloudy with some light rain most days.”

The third day of the month featured one last brush of winter.

“This came at the end of several weeks of early or pre-spring weather in March, after which the temperature fell close enough to freezing to produce a little wet snow mixed with the rain that gave April a bit of a wet start,” Carss elaborated. “About two weeks later, the dry spell ended with a brief touch of summer just before the unsettled weather returned for the rest of the month. Apart from these two extremes, temperatures in the Valley area ran pretty close to seasonal normals for the time of year.”

The mean daily maximum for April reached 14.9 C, almost a degree above the normal of 14.0 C. The mean daily minimum of 5.8 C was close to the normal of 5.6 C.

The extreme maximum of 20 C occurred on April 16. The extreme minimum of 1.5 C was recorded on both April 3 and 4.

There were 14 mostly or partly sunny days, up four from the normal of 10. Of the 16 mostly cloudy days, 14 had precipitation which is right on the normal.

Total rainfall for the month was 54.4 millimetres compared to the normal of 74.9 mm. And just a trace of snowfall at 0.2 centimetres slipped into the mix for a total precipitation of 54.6 mm and the normal is 75.4 mm created from a 0.5 cm of snow.

“The unsettled weather that affected the latter part of April continued into the first few days of May, but it was expected to give way to another taste of summer by the end of this week,” Carss indicated. “However, it looks like those hoping for yet another early summer in May will have to wait until early June before the warm weather arrives to stay.

”Most of mid-May is expected to return once again to spring conditions with occasional showers and cooler but still seasonal temperatures. The good news for those of us who enjoy defying the calendar as I do is that the summer weather should arrive to stay at least two weeks before this year’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ calendar summer begins at the summer solstice on June 20. Maybe we should go back to celebrating the solstice as Aboriginal Day like we used to and let the real summer start each year whenever it’s ready.”

At Keith Rush’s Thetis Island residence on Foster Point Road, he recorded 53.3 mm of precipitation in April – almost identical to the Chemainus total and the April 2019 rainfall on Thetis of 53.4 mm.

The average April on Thetis also yields nearly the same amount of 53.7 mm.

The year-to-date precipitation for Thetis is 525.4 mm. The average year-to-date by the end of April is 430.7 mm.

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