Ships docked in Crofton during a rare beautiful day in December. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Ships docked in Crofton during a rare beautiful day in December. (Photo by Don Bodger)

December rainfall 50 per cent higher than normal on southern Vancouver Island

Blast of snow on Dec. 21 left some on the ground for Christmas

December 2020 had been forecast to be wetter than usual for southern Vancouver Island.

And, even though it didn’t start out that way, the weather man was right: total rainfall winding up almost 50 per cent higher than normal for the month.

“The rainfall turned out to be rather spotty during the first half of the month, with the heavier rain and snow not starting until the second half,” explained Chris Carss, a Chemainus-based volunteer weather observer/recorder for Environment Canada.

RELATED: BC Hydro says 240,000 customers hit by province’s first winter storm

RELATED: Quiz — are you ready for winter?

With rainfall above normal overall, the total snowfall, by contrast, was about 30 per cent below normal, according to Carss, but persisted long enough after a Dec. 21 storm to leave some patchy snow cover of one centimetre or less for Christmas Day.

“Technically, it wasn’t a White Christmas which requires an even snow cover of at least two centimetres, and some areas of the Chemainus Valley may not have had any snow cover at all on the 25th,” he added.

“However, it was the third White or ‘Whitish’ Christmas in the past five years for those who got some of the white stuff, which is no mean feat for the Chemainus area or anywhere else on the West Coast.

It was also the second time this year that a change in meteorological seasons from fall to winter coincided closely with its corresponding astronomical or calendar season, the previous time having been in late June with the change from spring to summer. The other seasonal changes saw the meteorological spring and fall both arriving about 10 days after the calendar changes.

Oddly, December was also a bit sunnier than usual despite the extra rain, Carss noted.

“The slightly reduced cloud cover in December was highly productive. Temperatures were about a degree above normal, but this fell within the ‘standard deviation’ for what can be considered normal for the time of year.”

The mean daily maximum temperature for December was 7.6 degrees Celsius (normal 6.4 C) and the mean minimum came in at 3.5 C (normal 2.4 C). The extreme maximum of 12.5 C occurred on Dec 9 and the extreme minimum of -1.5 C on Dec. 24.

There were seven days of mostly or partly sunny conditions. That’s two above the normal of five days with sunshine.

Of the 24 mostly cloudy days, precipitation occurred on 20 of them. The normal days with precipitation is 21.

Total rainfall amounted to 307.6 millimetres (normal 226.9 mm) and total snowfall 13.2 cm (normal 19.4 cm).

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



This is how Crofton looked during an unexpected heavy snowfall on Dec. 21. (Photo by Don Bodger)

This is how Crofton looked during an unexpected heavy snowfall on Dec. 21. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Tom Lennox finds peace when he runs in the Cumberland Forest. He hasn’t missed a day in nearly a year. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island runner nears 366 consecutive days on the trails

Tom Lennox approaching a year’s worth of a minimum five kilometres a day

Jessica Lowry created a series of videos to engage Ladysmith Intermediate School students in mindfulness. (Submitted photo)
Vancouver Island school and artist introducing students to mindfulness

Ladysmith artist Jessica Lowry created a series of 36 videos to help students learn the practice

Members of Directiva. From left: Petrona, Sandra, Sarah and Brenda. They met to plan the sustainable food project in San Antonio Palopo. ({Photo submitted)
Island Rotary Club still connecting with Guatemala despite pandemic

Chemainus club supplies chickens, cages and feed for a nutrition program

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Stephen “Dusty” Roberts had a feeling this could be his last photo with his dad, Gordon Roberts, from outside the Broadmead care home. (Stephen Roberts Photo)
Vancouver Island man honouring father’s legacy with birdfeeders for shut-ins

Gordon Roberts loved his birdfeeder, his son is spreading that with Greater Victoria seniors

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Saanich bylaw officers called about pickleball players in Tolmie Park violating restrictions bannig doubles play amid the pandemic. (Dino B/Facebook)
Bylaw officers called to Saanich park for COVID-19 protocol violations on pickleball court

Raquet sport players reminded to avoid doubles play amid pandemic

Most Read