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Vancouver Island rain gauges stay empty until late October

Total for the month well below normal after precipitation finally arrives
October weather brought some beautiful mornings. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)

October’s sunny weather continued for so long, Keith Rush almost forgot to do his duties when it finally changed.

“After almost 100 days without much in the way of rainfall, I find myself forgetting to empty the gauge or record the result or put it in the spreadsheet,” joked Rush, who records precipitation statistics at his Foster Point Road home on Thetis Island on a volunteer basis.

Despite some significant rainfall toward the end of the month, it was still the second driest October since Rush has been keeping records. There was just 11 millimetres of rain in October of 2013 and October 2022 came in at 46.6 mm.

This year’s October total was way below the 147.3 mm of rainfall Rush recorded in October of 2021.

The year-to-date precipitation total of 684.4 mm to the end of October is running behind the 721.2 mm to this point last year.

There was slightly more rainfall recorded by Chris Carss in Chemainus. He does statistics for Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Carss’ key highlights from October include:

*Summer weather across the Chemainus Valley and most of Vancouver Island lasted well into the second half of October this year.

*Daytime highs averaged near 20 C until the 20th and got up into the mid-20s some days making for one of the latest summer spells ever seen here.

*Despite the arrival of cooler and wetter fall weather during the last 10 days of the month, the overall daily maximum temperature for the month still managed to average at fully four degrees above normal.

*The month was drier than usual for the first three weeks coming at the end of this year’s summer drought, so the total number of days with rain and the total accumulated rainfall amounts were both about half the normal value.

*Consistent with those results, cloud cover was also only about half the normal, so we ended up with about double our normal number of sunny or partly sunny days.

“Just one other note, the average October daytime temperature anomaly of four degrees C above normal this year is one or the biggest we’ve ever seen at any time of any year,” Carss added. “Small deviations from normal run about 1 C in our west coast climate, moderate deviations about 2 C above or below normal, and large deviations around 3 C above or below. Four Celsius (in this case above normal) above can be considered extreme for now, until global warming and another decade of hotter summers allows our statistical long term normals to catch up to what appears to be the new reality.”

Following are Carss’ detailed statistics for October:


Mean maximum 18.1 C, normal 14.1 C.

Mean minimum 9.5 C, normal 7.4 C.

Extreme maximum 24.5 C on Oct. 7.

Extreme minimum 4 C on Oct. 26.


Days mostly or partly sunny and dry 23, normal 12

Days with mixed weather (sunshine and precipitation) 3.

Total days mostly or partly sunny (including mixed weather days) 26.


Total days with rainfall (including mixed weather days) 7, normal 15.

Total accumulated rainfall 56.4 mm, normal 133.6 mm.

As for the outlook for the remainder of November, “although our normal fall weather has finally returned, our total number of days with rainfall in November is expected to be a little below normal,” Carss indicated.

“However, some of the rainy days we get could be quite intense, so the total accumulated rainfall for this month may be much closer to normal or even somewhat above. Daily maximum temperatures should be close to normal most days, but some snow can be expected after mid-month, especially at higher elevations.”


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October weather brought some beautiful mornings. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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