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Twice as much snow and sun during a volatile December on the Island

The month also featured much colder weather than usual
A heavy snowfall Dec. 20 buried cars and anything else left out in the open. (Photo by Carolyn Dykeman)

It’ll be a December 2022 to remember weather-wise, but not just for the significant snowfall around the Island.

“The total accumulated snowfall was more than twice the historical normal,” noted Chris Carss, a volunteer weather observer/recorder for Environment and Climate Change Canada at his Chemainus home.

Snowfall for the month in Chemainus was 48.8 centimetres, compared to the December normal of 19.4 cm.

Heavy downpours of rain followed around Christmastime, but fortunately did not result in any substantial flooding despite the presence of so much melting snow and a week of king tides.

In a volatile month, “the total days with sunshine was about twice the historical normal,” added Carss.

“The maximum and minimum temperatures averaged about two degrees below normal which is significant but not extreme, but may have been a factor in our elevated sunshine totals.”

To go along with the sun and the snow was the cold, bottoming out at -9.0 C on Dec. 22.

“The lowest temperature for the month was extreme, the coldest officially recorded on any date in Chemainus for the past 30 years,” Carss noted.

Total rainfall was about 40 millimetres below the historical normal, which may have held back much of the expected flooding that never fully materialized.

A breakdown of the monthly statistics from Carss is as follows:


Mean maximum 4.0 C, normal 6.4 C.

Mean minimum 0.2 C, normal 2.4 C.

Extreme maximum 11.5 C on Dec. 26.

Extreme minimum -9.0 C on Dec. 22.


Days mostly or partly sunny and dry 10, normal 5.

Days with mixed weather (sunshine and precipitation) 3 .

Total days mostly or partly sunny (including mixed weather days) 13.


Total days with precipitation 14 (including mixed weather days) , normal 21.

Total accumulated rainfall 185.9 mm, normal 226.9 mm

Total accumulated snowfall 48.8 cm, normal 19.4 cm.

Total accumulated precipitation 234.7 mm, normal 246.3 mm.

On Thetis Island, weather observer Keith Rush recorded 241.33 mm of precipitation in December, including rain and snow combined, that was very close to the Chemainus total. The total also fell just short of the all-time December high at Rush’s Foster Point residence of 269 mm in 2015.

The previous December had just 170.6 mm of precipitation on Thetis which was still above the average of 164.0 mm.

The outlook for the first half of January is expected to see near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

”The second half of January should see a reduction in precipitation to near normal levels,” Carss indicated.


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Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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