Crofton Seawalk provides a great experience at any time of the year, like this March day. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Crofton Seawalk provides a great experience at any time of the year, like this March day. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Vancouver Island’s March turns out to be a lot drier than original forecasts

Rainfall total falls far below the normal amid frequent sunshine

March was supposed to be a wet month with above normal precipitation, but totally defied forecasts.

Statistics furnished by Vancouver Island weather observer Chris Carss indicate nearly half the month, 15 days, were sunny or partly sunny and dry and an additional five days had partial sunshine with some light rainfall for a total of 20 days with at least some sunshine. The normal number of sunny or partly sunny and dry days is eight.

”Rainfall amounts were accordingly very low for the time of year with only about a third of our normal monthly rainfall,” noted Carss, who records the weather from his home base in Chemainus.

Total rainfall was a mere 45.0 millimetres, well below the normal of 126.3 mm. With no snowfall during the month and a normal of 6.0 centimetres, that left the total precipitation even farther below the normal of 132.3 mm.

RELATED: Vancouver Island weather conditions cover the full spectrum in February

RELATED: Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

The number of days with rainfall was exactly the same as the number of sunny dry days. However, adding in the days with mixed weather – rain and sun – put those 20 days with at least some sunshine at the top of the leader board for what is usually a fairly wet month.

Although the number of dull cloudy days without significant sunshine was down sharply, every one of those few grey days this March produced at least a bit of light rainfall.

The highest temperature in March of 13.5 Celsius came at the very beginning on the first.

”This was followed by a mid-month cold snap that drove the early morning temperature all the way down to the freezing point on the 16th,” Carss added. “However, milder weather returned towards the end of month.”

The high on the 27th came close to matching the mark set on the first. Following that, two days of strong winds approaching gale force cut short the brief mild spell and brought March to an end with relatively cool but seasonal temperatures.

“In fact, when the changeable temperatures were averaged for the month, the values turned out to be the only statistics that were right on normal,” Carss indicated. “Normally this would have brought some snowfall to the Chemainus Valley during the cooler periods around the Ides of March, but the lack of precipitation helped prevent the occurrence of the white stuff this month.”

“April started off with a mix of sun an cloud, but the indications now are that the new month will continue the trend of near normal temperatures with a fair amount of sunshine and mostly light rainfall that will likely remain below normal until late in the month,” Carss pointed out.

”By then, the rain may start to escalate and bring our final totals closer to seasonal normals. However, confidence in the longer range outlooks is a bit low right now because of the poor performance of the original March outlooks. Accordingly, we might be dealing with a dry spring and an early summer, possibly by May, which could portend a long dry stretch ahead with a summer of forest fires and watering restrictions as a possible worst case scenario.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

EnvironmentWeather

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Life’s a beach along the Crofton Seawalk on a beautiful March day. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Life’s a beach along the Crofton Seawalk on a beautiful March day. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

CVRD offices on Ingram Street will remain closed for another 14 weeks after flooding last month. (File photo)
CVRD headquarters closed for another three and a half months

Building significantly damaged during water leak

Victoria police are asking for help locating high-risk missing man Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Police searching for Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria

Whittaker believed to be driving 1994 red Volkswagen Golf

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

Possible COVID-19 exposures were reported at Maple Bay Elementary between April 12 and 15. (Google Maps screenshot)
Possible COVID-19 exposure reported at Maple Bay Elementary

Exposures may have occurred between April 12 and 15

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to target people ages 40+ in ‘high risk communities’ with AstraZeneca vaccine

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read