A huge lake forms on farmland near the Chemainus River during one of the many January downpours. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Precipitation total surpasses 400 millimetres during a soggy January in Chemainus

Rain fell on a whopping 26 days during the month

No one in the Chemainus and Crofton area will find this too surprising. It rained a lot in January.

The data compiled by Chemainus weather observer Chris Carss reveals what was indeed a very wet January with a whopping 417.4 millimetres of rain, well above the normal of 231.1 mm.

“January 2018 was an exceptionally wet month that gave us nearly twice our normal rainfall but almost no snow in the Chemainus Valley,” reported Carss. “The first three days of the month were dry with the sun predominating only on the third day. Then came the deluge that dominated the rest of the month.

“The La Nina ocean current that gave us a very wintery December seemed to peter out last month, allowing our temperatures to return to near normal. However, this doesn’t rule out the possibility the current might return again sometime in February.”

The average snowfall for January is 21.0 centimetres, but that was limited to a trace this year.

Other January statistics of note from Carss include: a mean maximum temperature of 6.9 degress Celsius (normal 6.8 C); mean minimum of 3.3 C (normal 2.3 C); extreme maximum temperature of 11.5 C on Jan. 29; extreme minimum of -1 C on Jan. 1; and days of mostly or partly sunny weather 1 (normal 7).

Of the 30 days of mostly cloudy weather, 26 had precipitation. The normal number of precipitation days is 20.

As for the outlook for the remainder of February, “as already mentioned, there’s no guarantee how long the decline of the La Nina water current will last,” Carss pointed out. “However, it looks like most of February will have a mix of fair to unsettled, but not severe weather this month with temperatures running near normal to about three degrees above.

“This trend was already in evidence early in the month with rain and mild weather during the first three days followed by some sunshine on the 4th and an afternoon temperature that got all the way up to 14 C. Occasional showers should return from Feb. 5 to 18 and again around the 24th. These unsettled periods are expected to be interspersed with periods of dry and partly sunny weather from Feb. 19 to 23 and from the 26th to the end of the month. It looks like the prevernal or pre-spring ecological season has arrived as usual before the end of the calendar winter.”

More from Carss in his monthly column on weather trends and patterns next week.

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