Bright cherry blossoms surround Emily Weeks, the managing director of the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce, in downtown Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Vancouver Island’s mini-summer poised to fade

Cooler and damper this weekend, summer-like conditions not likely to return until late June

  • Apr. 20, 2021 12:00 a.m.

So much for April showers.

Long stretches of dry weather are unusual in April, but this is actually the second year in a row it’s happened on Vancouver Island. The big difference this time has been much warmer temperatures.

That said, don’t make the mistake of thinking summer has arrived early, or that this the harbinger of the months to come, at least if last year was any indication.

Last year’s similar stretch of pre-summer weather occurred between April 5 and 16, but the daytime temperatures climbed rather slowly through the mid to high teens and only made it to the low 20s once at the very end of the dry spell.

“After that, normal spring conditions returned and remained through May, a month that used to bring frequent early summer weather to the Island during the 2010 decade,” noted Chris Carss, a Chemainus-based weather observer. “With the arrival of the 2020s, May seems to have reverted to spring weather. It looks like summer weather will not return until well into June.

“(The) system breaks down often enough to cause confusion and consternation in the media and many lame jokes about the weather not matching the calendar in media weather reports even though these contradictions occur quite frequently.”

The first 10 days were fairly typical of April weather with variable cloud cover, occasional showers and near normal temperatures. But then the long foretaste of summer began with sunny and dry weather settling in April 11 and it hasn’t budged since.

“The main cause of the sunshine has been an unusually strong ridge of high pressure extending from Alaska to the Island and on down to California,” explained Carss. “The temperature regime then warmed up rather quickly so that afternoon values got into the low 20s by the 18th, just in time for the weekend.”

Indications are the high pressure ridge is starting to weaken. Most of the Island should expect some much-needed rain and more seasonal temperatures by late Friday or early Saturday.

“Keep your spring clothes nearby when the weather is warm, and for the second time in this new decade, don’t expect a full-on arrival of summer weather until June,” he concluded.

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Nanaimo News Bulletin


Cherry blossoms create quite a contrast against a bright blue sky in downtown Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

There are cherry blossoms everywhere on the trees in downtown Chemainus surrounding Emily Weeks, the managing director of the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Emily Weeks, managing director of the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce, is engulfed by cherry tree blossoms. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Don Thomas is one of the first to get his hands on a couple of ice cream cones on opening day for Scoops By The Sea. (Photo by Don Bodger)

There’s nothing like the sunny days we’ve been having to do a little fishing or paddle-boarding on Fuller Lake. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Scoops By The Sea opened again for the season Thursday, April 15, perfect timing with this marvelous weather we’ve been having to indulge. Candice Relf dishes out the cones. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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