Chemainus weather observer Chris Carss.

Summer hits the skids early in the Chemainus Valley

It was payback time for the early start to summer back in May

The Chemainus Valley experienced a huge turnaround in the weather in a short time.

“If May of this year brought an unusually early feast of summer weather to the Chemainus Valley, then September was definitely payback time, with compound interest,” said Chris Carss, a volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada at his Chemainus home.

“After barely a week of late summer weather at the beginning of the month, everything suddenly went south, literally! Most of mid-September was dull, wet and cool. One of the earliest summers we’ve ever seen was quickly replaced by one of the earliest autumns ever.”

Carss qualified the trend toward summers that arrive and leave early has actually been ongoing for about the last four years, but this year was the most pronounced.

“We had seven fewer sunny days than usual, the equivalent of a full week, and our normally September-friendly skies opened up and dumped more than three times our customary amount of rainfall for the month,” he noted. “A brief Indian summer came along near the end of the month, but it was too late to revive the prospects for what might have been our first-ever five-month summer, based on what looked possible back in May.”

The mean maximum temperature for September was 18.9 degrees Celsius, below the normal of 20.1 C. The mean daily minimum of 11.3 C was almost the same as the normal of 11.4 C.

The extreme maximum temperature for the month was 26.5 C on Sept. 6. The extreme minimum of 7.0 C occurred on Sept. 18.

Days of mostly or partly sunny conditions amounted to 11, a full week less than the normal of 18 days with sunshine.

Eighteen of the 19 mostly cloudy days had rainfall. The normal number of precipitation days is just nine.

Total rainfall exceeded the normal of 40.8 millimetres by more than 100 mm to 149.9 mm.

As for October, it got off to an unsettled start, “but it was largely a case of the fall weather returning at a time when it becomes the norm for the time of year,” Carss pointed out. “The middle of the month looks like it will be drier with more sunshine and slightly higher temperatures than usual, followed by more cool, wet weather in late October.”

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