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.”