Spring officially arrives in Comox Valley — winter not finished yet?

Winter came to a close while spring sprung this week — though the weather could have fooled us.

COMOX VALLEY RESIDENTS take advantage of spring conditions to get out for a walk along the Riverway Walk near the Courtenay Airpark.

Winter came to a close while spring sprung this week — though the weather could have fooled us.

A hailstorm hit Courtenay on the first official day of spring Wednesday. The sun came out Thursday, mixed in with more hail as the temperature reached 6C in the Valley. Overnight, however, the mercury continues to dip below freezing.

The unpredictable start to the spring season followed a winter in which total precipitation was close to par at 94 per cent, slightly drier than normal.

“As a whole it doesn’t appear all that exceptional,” said Matt MacDonald, meteorologist with Environment Canada.

December in the Valley was excessively rainy — the wettest since 1993 — with 248 millimetres of rain. The normal amount is 160 mms in December.

January and February were dry months by comparison, only half of normal precipitation in January and 66 per cent in February.

“As a whole, it ends up rounding out close to normal,” MacDonald said.

It was a mild winter overall. The mean temperature was a half degree above normal — which may seem insignificant but makes for a relatively mild winter nonetheless.

The Valley received snow only in December, a total of 32 cms, above the normal snowfall of 21 cms. There was no snow at lower altitudes the rest of winter, whereas January typically features 22 cms and February 10 cms.

MacDonald said ocean temperatures have cooled lately, which indicates a relatively cool and potentially wetter spring than normal.

“Yesterday’s storm was quite an interesting one,” MacDonald said Thursday. “The first day of spring we had this deep low (pressure system) cut right across the Island just north of Comox. Had some strong winds associated with that. We saw flurries, snow pellets, showers, wind gusts up to 100 km/h down the Strait of Georgia, and then even some water spouts out over the water…It was kind of a last taste of winter weather on the first day of spring.”

He said the short-range forecast is “quite nice.” There is a chance of flurries Thursday evening, but Friday is expected to mark the start of a dry stretch for the next three or four days, with temperatures gradually warming to highs of 11 and overnight lows of around three degrees.

The average maximum temperature this time of year is 9.9 Celsius while the average minimum is 2.4 C. The highest was 17.7 degrees in 1979 while the lowest dipped to -3.3 C in 1971.

The wettest March 21 on record came in 1956 when the Valley received 24.4 millimetres of rain.


Just Posted

Y2K Spitfire comes home

Stocky Edwards guest of honour at banquet

Crown Isle acquires Longlands Golf Course

The Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community just got a little bit… Continue reading

Heliports certified at Comox Valley, Campbell River hospitals

Both sites should see heliports up and running by late summer

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Three small wildfires burning west of Courtenay

The blazes are the result of a brief thunderstorm last night

VIDEO: Trades jobs the way of the future on Vancouver Island?

Hundreds of people attend Black Press Career Fair in Nanaimo

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

A day to remember: Glacier View Secondary holds 2018 graduation ceremony

Glacier View Secondary School held its 2018 graduation ceremony on Thursday, June… Continue reading

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Most Read