The M.V. Kuper ferry heads toward Thetis Island from Chemainus in calm waters. (Photo by Don Bodger)

March precipitation way below normal

A 36.3 mm total in the Chemainus Valley a far cry from the usual 132.3 mm

March weather came in three distinct phases, according to Chemainus weather observer Chris Carss’ monthly recap.

“The first 13 days saw variable conditions with a mix of sun, cloud, a very small shot of wet snow, and intermittent light rain or showers,” he noted. “After that, it was mainly sunny and dry from the 14th to the 21st, then mostly cloudy and wet for the last 10 days, although without any major accumulations of rainfall.”

Temperatures averaged about a degree below normal, Carss added, from 10.8 Celsius to 10.0C for the mean maximum and 3.8C to 2.5C for the mean minimum.

The extreme maximum temperature of 14C was reached on both March 20 and 21, with the extreme minimum of -1.5C on March 15.

More notable, he indicated, the total precipitation was way below normal with only about a quarter of the normal rainfall and only a tiny fraction of the historical quota of snow despite the slightly cooler than normal temperatures.

The total rainfall amounted to just 36.1 millimetres, way below the normal of 126.3, and snowfall measured just 0.2 centimetres against the normal of 6.0 cm. That resulted in a total precipitation of 36.3 mm, only a fraction of the normal of 132.3 mm.

“Not surprisingly, our dose of sunshine for the month was well above normal, although rather more surprisingly, the total number of days with precipitation – albeit of very light intensity for the most part – was just a day short of normal,” Carss pointed out.

The total days with sunny or partly sunny conditions was 13, compared to the normal of eight. Of the 20 mostly cloudy days, 15 had precipitation and the normal is 16.

On Thetis Island at 15 Foster Point Rd., Keith Rush recorded 17.8 mm of rain in March for a total for the year to date of 472.1 mm. The average year to date precipitation total on Thetis Island by the end of March is 377.0 mm.

Last March had just 12.9 mm and the average March brings 99.8 mm so recent years have been significantly below normal.

As the calendar turned to April, the cool mostly wet weather continued into the first few days.

“Some areas of the Chemainus Valley saw a few wet flurries mixed in with the rain.” noted Carss. “However, this didn’t happen until two days after April Fool’s Day, the statutory – and therefore truly official – first day of the first full month of the pseudo-official spring season as semi-officially defined by persons unknown, but which continued unofficially as a continuation of late winter or pre-spring until the snow officially ended.

“After that, the real spring weather finally arrived with abundant sunshine and temperatures getting up to near normal values. The outlook for the rest of April calls for near normal temperatures, near or above normal sunshine, and below normal rainfall.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Courier continues through home work

Willow Street office in Chemainus no longer being utilized

Ladysmith A&W plans community Rod Run for June 4

Cruisin’ the Dub will look a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Chemainus Public Market vendors venture outdoors

Different functions in the works to appeal to all tastes

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Most Read