Bright blossoms provide quite a contrast against a bright blue sky in downtown Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Bright blossoms provide quite a contrast against a bright blue sky in downtown Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Vancouver Island’s long dry spell in April unlikely to be duplicated in May

More sporadic weather to occur around the Island for the next several weeks

Minimal precipitation marked April around Vancouver Island in a carbon copy of last year.

And the outlook for May also appears destined to be the same as 2020, but with sporadic weather conditions that definitely won’t set the table for an early summer.

The stats for April and the May forecast “looks like a repeat of last year for both, and we may have to wait until the summer solstice for our first sustained summer weather, unlike much of the 2010 decade when summer often arrived in May,” noted Chris Carss, a volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada at his Chemainus home.

Carss recorded a total rainfall for April of just 33.7 millimetres compared to the normal of 74.9 mm. The total measurement from Keith Rush at his Foster Point Road residence on nearby Thetis Island was even less at 21.1 mm, well below half the total there from April of 2020 of 53.3 mm. It was the second lowest April total recorded by Rush next to 15.7 mm in 2016.

Carss added the month that just ended came in three distinct phases, a familiar pattern during recent times, including April of last year.

The first 10 days saw typical weather for the time of year, with variable cloud cover, occasional showers and near normal temperatures.

“This was followed by an unusually long foretaste of summer, with sunny dry weather that settled in April 11,” Carss indicated. “At first, temperatures remained very close to normal, with overnight lows just a degree or two above freezing which created widespread early morning frost under clear skies and daytime highs in the low to mid-teens. The temperature regime then warmed up rather quickly so that afternoon highs got up to the extreme maximums for the month on no less than three days.

Related story: Pre-summer weather warms up the region

“The third phase began April 24 with a return to more normal spring weather with cooler temperatures and the customary mix of sunshine, cloud and showers.”

Overall, the warm dry spell in the middle of the month pushed the mean daily maximum temperature to 15.5 Celsius – 1.5 C above normal – reduced the rainfall total to less than half the normal and more than doubled the total days with sunshine. A total of 22 days were mostly or partly sunny and dry. An additional day with partly sunny weather but also some rain brought the total number of days with at least some sunshine to 23.

The mean minimum temperature was 6.1 C, slightly above the normal of 5.6 C. April 15, 17 and 19 all had high temperatures of 22.0 C, with the extreme minimum of 0.5 C occurring on April 10.

“For the second year in a row, there will be no sustained early summer in May like there was during much of the 2010 decade,” pointed out Carss. “Normal spring conditions are expected to predominate for the rest of the month and well into June.”

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There’s nothing like the sunny days we’ve been having to do a little fishing or paddle-boarding on Fuller Lake. (Photo by Don Bodger)

There’s nothing like the sunny days we’ve been having to do a little fishing or paddle-boarding on Fuller Lake. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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