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Less rain, more sun marks February weather

Spring hasn’t quite sprung yet, with a brief cold snap expected later in March
A beautiful sunrise in Chemainus during late February. (Photo by Debbie Simmonds)

Far less rainfall than normal corresponded with more sunshine to highlight the weather picture for February.

Chris Carss, who provides weather statistics for Environment and Climate Change Canada from his Chemainus home, noted the total rainfall for February was just 74.3 millimetres. The normal is 117.3.

At the same time, he indicated the days of mostly or partly sunny and dry conditions jumped from the normal of nine to 16.

January’s La Nina ocean current that brought below normal temperatures and plenty of precipitation to the Chemainus Valley lost most of its grip in February,” Carss explained. “As a result, temperatures rose to normal values for most of the month and precipitation amounts went way down. Sunshine was abundant with seven more than the usual number of days having mostly or partly sunny and dry conditions while the number of days with precipitation was seven less than normal.”

As expected, however, he added La Nina returned for the last 10 days of the month and brought back the cooler temperatures and precipitation, including a short-lived dusting of light snow. Temperatures and precipitation returned to seasonal normals for the last two days of the month.

With all the extra sunshine and dry weather, Carss’ new statistic that includes mixed weather days with sunshine and precipitation on the same day showed a total of only two more days than the number of sunny dry days.

“Still, this was a big improvement over January, and it might have put the Valley total of all sunny or partly sunny days – including those with a bit of liquid sunshine – just barely into the spring category of 20+ days if February had as many days overall as the other months,” Carss elaborated.

“Even with this new weather parameter, our second month of the year still found itself reposing in that pre-spring no-man’s land between winter and spring with a total number of mostly or partly sunny days, with or without precipitation, that fell just two short of the 20-day provisional benchmark.”

Stats for February were as follows:

Temperature Stats

Mean maximum 8.3 C ; normal 8.4 C.

Mean minimum 2.3 C; normal 2.4 C.

Extreme maximum 13.5 C on Feb. 19.

Extreme minimum -4.0 C on Feb. 23

Precipitation and sunshine Stats

Days mostly or partly sunny and dry 16; normal 9.

Days with precipitation and mostly cloudy or foggy 9; normal 16 .

Total rainfall 74.3 mm; normal 117.3 mm.

Total snowfall 1.0 cm; normal 8.6 cm.

Total combined precipitation 75.3 mm; normal 125.9 mm.

Days mostly cloudy or foggy and dry 4.

Days mostly or partly sunny, with or without precipitation 18.

On Thetis Island, the February rainfall total was down 15 mm from 96 mm last year to 81 mm. The average February on Thetis according to statistics compiled by Keith Rush at his Foster Point Road residence produces 102.8 mm.

The total rainfall for 2022 is already 72 mm less than last year at this point.

The near normal conditions that marked the end of February have continued into early March, but Carss pointed out the La Nina ocean current is expected to revive somewhat and bring a return to above normal precipitation around the middle of March.

“Temperatures should remain closer to normal, although a brief cold snap might bring a little snow to the Valley just a few days into the astronomical spring. However, a return to the full-on winter weather of January appears unlikely. Conditions overall should continue the early or pre-spring weather that has been prevalent since February.”