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Island’s November rainfall a drop in the bucket, but snowfall amount way up

Monthly recap for Vancouver Island’s southeast coast also features more sunshine than usual
Huge pile of snow in the Waterwheel Park parking lot is an indication of how much snow fell in Chemainus at the end of November. (Photo by Don Bodger)

November on southeast Vancouver Island featured far more sunshine and snow than usual, but also far less rainfall.

It was an interesting month that ran the full gamut of conditions, broken down into stages, as depicted in a summary by Chris Carss, a volunteer recorder/statistician for Environment and Climate Change Canada at his Chemainus home.

“The month started off sunny and mild, then became unsettled with some rain that changed to snow six days into the new month,” he pointed out. “A spell of dry weather arrived during the middle of the month that saw temperatures bouncing around either side of normal. From Nov. 20 on saw the return of unsettled weather that started off as intermittent to occasional rain with mild temperatures that predominated for about a week.

“The mild weather crashed Nov. 28 as Arctic air poured across Vancouver Island producing blizzard conditions at times. The last three days of the month saw a total of 6.4 millimetres of rain, but the bigger weather event during that time was the 21.8 centimetre dumping of new snow. When this is combined with the more modest snowfalls earlier in the month, the total November snowfall was nearly four times the monthly normal.”

Temperatures averaged about 3C below normal while the combined precipitation of rain and snow averaged a little more than half the normal amount and the number of sunny or partly sunny and dry days came out at more than twice the seasonal normal.

A breakdown in the statistics is as follows:


Mean maximum 6.9C, normal 9.1C.

Mean minimum 1.7C, normal 4.2C.

Extreme maximum 12C on Nov. 5.

Extreme minimum -2C on Nov. 12.


Days mostly or partly sunny and dry 15, normal 7

Days with mixed weather (sunshine and precipitation) 7 .

Total days mostly or partly sunny (including mixed weather days) 22.


Total days with precipitation (including mixed weather days) 14, normal 19.

Total accumulated rainfall 93.9 mm, normal 209.4 mm.

Total accumulated snowfall 26.6 cm; normal 7.8 cm.

Total accumulated precipitation 120.5 mm. normal 217.2 mm.

Related story: Intense November rains wallop Chemainus region with 481.9 mm

For the rest of December, Carss expects it to be another complicated month, although likely not as much as November.

“Chilly conditions with periods of snow are expected to gradually warm up to more normal conditions towards the middle of the month,” he indicated. “However, day-to-day temperatures will likely be quite changeable so that rain or snow is possible at almost any time.

“It’s a bit early to offer any probabilities for a white Christmas this year. These have become more common than a few decades ago, echoing a trend that was predominant a century ago during the 1920s.”


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Chemainus streets turned snowy right at the end of November. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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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