Crofton fire department members remind residents to report wildfires, especially during these early-season tinder dry conditions. (Photo submitted)

March precipitation total way below normal in Chemainus Valley

Amount of rainfall literally just a drop in the bucket during a dry month

Statistics from Chemainus weather observer Chris Carss reveal just how dry March was in the Chemainus Valley compared to normal.

There was just 8.0 millimetres of rain and 4.0 centimetres of snow for a combined precipitation total of 12.0 mm. The normals are 126.3 mm of rain, 6.0 cm of snow and a total precipitation of 132.3 mm.

“March started off cool but mostly dry in the Chemainus Valley for the first 11 days, except for one day with rain and one with rain and snow on the 8th,” noted Carss. “From the 12th to the 17th, temperatures improved to near seasonal values with occasional dribbles of rain. Then for almost the entire second half of the month, the temperature regime kicked up again to provide above normal temperatures but still only occasional dribbles of rain, which has already left the Chemainus Valley with a water deficit at an unusually early time of the year.”

The mean maximum temperature was 12.1C, more than a degree above the normal of 10.8C and the mean minimum of 2.7C was chillier than the normal of 3.8C. The thermometer hit a high of 20.0C on Mar. 20 and the extreme minimum of -2.5C was recorded on March 8.

There were 21 day of mostly or partly sunny conditions. The normal days with sunshine is just eight.

Of the 10 mostly cloudy days, six had precipitation. Normal days of precipitation is 16.

April started with another sunny day perhaps as an April Fool’s Day trick from Mother Nature, and was immediately followed by several days of wet weather.

“A return to mostly dry conditions is expected around Apr. 8 with variable sun and cloud but only occasional dribbles of rain for the rest of the month,” Carss indicated

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