February’s weather in the Chemainus region was like three packages rolled into one.
“First up was seven days of mild weather with intermittent to occasional light rain,” noted Chris Carss, who provides weather readings to Environment Canada on a volunteer basis from his Chemainus home. “This was followed by eight days of wintry weather with plenty of snow and occasional brisk winds. This cold phase ended with a five-day thaw that saw milder temperatures and occasional light rain. The month ended with eight days that offered something for every taste and season – except summer – including rain, hail in some areas, a slight dash of wet snow, some occasional sunshine and a few days with brisk winds.
“Despite some mild spells, the wintry weather was enough to drag our overall daytime temperature averages to nearly 2 Celsius below normal. The monthly snowfall was more than three times the historical normal while the total sunshine, rainfall and combined precipitation were all well below normal.”
The mean daily maximum temperature was 6.8 C compared to the normal of 8.4 C, with the mean minimum of 1.3 C falling below the normal of 2.4 C. The extreme maximum for the month of 13.0 C occurred on Feb. 21 and the extreme minimum of -3.5 C on the 10th.
Total rainfall was only 53.9 millimetres, way below the normal of 117.3 mm. But the total snowfall of 28.8 centimetres far surpassed the normal of 8.6 cm.
That left the total precipitation at 82.7 mm, still far short of the normal of 125.9 mm.
A total of six days in February were mostly sunny and dry, down from the normal of nine, while another five days were partly sunny with some precipitation. The latter is a new category of weather days Carss shared that were previously counted only as additional days with rain and no credit given for the mixed sunshine.
“However, the most frequent combination was still cloudy with precipitation which numbered 10 days,” he pointed out. “When these are added up in overlapping fashion, the totals come out to 11 days of sunny or partly sunny weather which was still outnumbered by 15 days with precipitation (normal 16), with or without any sunshine. This was the only monthly value that came out close to normal.”
The total number of cloudy, but dry days came out at seven.
Meanwhile, there was actually an increase in the amount of precipitation Keith Rush recorded at his Foster Point Road residence on Thetis Island compared to last February. The total was 96.0 mm, exceeding a 74.6 mm reading from February 2020.
The average February on Thetis, according to Rush, produces 104.5 mm of precipitation.
The year-to-date is already running more than 100 mm below last year, with 323.5 mm. The total for the first two months of 2020 was 454.3 mm.
“March got off to a mild start with a daytime maximum of 13 C, but that was followed by a frost night that presaged an expected return to more normal temperatures for most of the month,” Carss indicated. “It is also expected that a procession of weather disturbances during the month will result in above normal rainfall for March as a whole and maybe some light snow early in the month.”