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

Basket raffle a Comox Valley Child Development Association Children’s Telethon tradition

One-stop Christmas shopping with Winner Takes All Basket rffle

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Golden anniversary for G.P. Vanier Thursday

It was a day of celebration for students, educators and administrators past… Continue reading

Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses of attempted sexual assault

The Comox Valley RCMP is looking for witnesses after an attempted sexual… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Nanaimo RCMP warn public after nine-year-old girl approached by motorist

Incident happened Wednesday morning near Park Avenue School

Migrants, police mass in town on Guatemala-Mexico border

Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks.

5 to start your day

Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank, ex-Surrey cop to appear in court after Creep Catchers sting and more

Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday said it had obtained audio recordings of the alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Feds dead set against ‘ridiculous’ quotas to replace steel, aluminum tariffs

Donald Trump imposed the so-called Section 232 tariffs — 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — back in June on national security grounds.

Campus brawl leads to charge against B.C. football player

Takudzwa Timothy Brandon Gandire, a 21-year-old defensive back from Vancouver, is charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Stadium vendor seen in pizza spitting video pleads guilty

The 21-year-old’s sentencing is Nov. 15. His lawyer has said he understood what he did was wrong and was remorseful.

Most Read