According to a meteorologist with Environment Canada, snowfall in April for the Parksville Qualicum Beach region is not completely out of the ordinary.
While Sunday’s (April 10) snowfall brought down trees and caused a transmission circuit failure for BC Hydro, leaving thousands of people from Dashwood to Nanoose Bay without power, Bobby Sekhon with Environment Canada said they did not officially record snowfall in the area.
“There was snow in the region. But unfortunately, it just depends if our observing sites pick it up or not,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of places that report snowfall amounts. The only ones that we saw on parts of the Island were at Shawnigan Lake with six centimetres yesterday (April 10), and Chemainus with one centimetre.”
Sunday’s snowfall, he said, was caused by a cold weather pattern that has developed since Friday, April 8, with a broad trough of cold air stretching from the west coast of B.C. to the prairies. With it, the chance of snow, thunderstorms, strong winds and hail increases.
“We’ve seen it all over parts of southwest B.C. this weekend, especially yesterday. So, it’s not completely out of the ordinary to get these types of weather patterns in April. But it is quite late in the season to see snow – but not impossible,” he said.
According to Environment Canada data, the latest and most substantial snow recorded for the area was five centimetres on April 26, 1962, in Qualicum Beach.
Sekhon advises the public to ‘keep an eye’ on the weather, either via the WeatherCAN app or Environment Canada weather website (www.weather.gc.ca), as it can change quickly this time of year – from heatwaves to snowfall.
“It’s also lighting season now, too,” he said. “When thunder roars, go indoors.”
In regards to weather-related traffic collisions in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region, Sgt. Shane Worth with Oceanside RCMP told the PQB News there was only one reported to police on Sunday with no injuries.