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

The Town of Qualicum Beach plans to establish temporary shelters. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration)
Town of Qualicum Beach seeks $1.25M grant to build temporary housing units

Aim is to move tenants in prior to the end of 2021

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association and its Nanaimo-Ladysmith counterpart seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (PQB News file photo)
Mount Arrowsmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department emergency response vehicle. (PQB News file photo)
Dashwood fire department issues warning to residents to hold off on yard debris burning

Fire chief: ‘Hold off on burning until we get some rain’

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read