April 2017 Summary – Almost Every Day Rain – plus Long Term Forecast including May Long Weekend!

April 2017.  Another incredible constant month of rain.

It’s groundhog day again… Last October it rained 29 of 31 days.  In March is rained 30 of 31 days and in April it rained 29 of 30 days.  So you can be forgiven for feeling a little down.  That said, there is good news coming.  The May Long Weekend looks like it might truly be the ‘beginning of summer’ as it will be the start to at least of week of no rain in the forecast and temperatures at or near 20ºC!  Your definition of summer may need to moderate a bit, but hey, it’s better than day after day of grey!

More under the fold!

For April, in the City we averaged 5.0ºC for our lows and 12.6ºC for our highs for an overall average of 8.4ºC.  At the Airport (so a little further in the Valley) it was similar but a little cooler, 3.7 ºC for the lows, 12.4º C for the highs and 8.0ºC overall.  This all added up to below normal highs and above normal lows leading to almost exactly normal temperatures overall. Weird right?

Like March, while it certainly seemed cold in April, it was not the coldest ever.  In fact we did not set any records at all for temperature but we did set 4 new records at the Airport since 1995 for daily rainfall.  We didn’t have any big rainfall days, not one day over 25 mm, (we usually get at least 1) but when it rains almost every single day, the odds of one of them breaking a short term record are pretty good. Lucky us! 🙂

This dreary trend has continued into May but it looks like we are going to get a well deserved break starting on Wednesday!  Scroll down to the 16-day forecast to see what is in store for the rest of the month.  It’s not too shabby at all!

Other things worth noting for April 2017:

Check out the River and Snowpack sections below to see information on that as we get into the freshet season.

Also note below that both the Summer and Fall temperatures for North America and the globe are stepping back from big predictions of abnormal heat.  It might end up feeling kind of cool this summer even though statistically we will actually be closer to normal.  The past few years of extreme heat have preconditioned us a little to expect abnormal heat.  Don’t be too disappointed if we don’t see any big hot days!

Most Notable Event of April 2017

Again,  rain was measured every day except one and we set 4 rain records (though no all time).  It was a rainy month during a rainy spring!

Our most similar April to this in my records is April 2009.  It had near identical temperatures and similar rainfall.

River and Drought, Snowpack and Future Outlooks continue after the monthly stats below!

Monthly Timelapse Video

You can check out the videos at:


Daily records set this month at the Airport* since 1995 and compared to other stations** for “All Time” since 1900.

Four high rain records, none all-time, no high or low temp records.

*May have used backup Env Canada Data source at WeatherStats.ca

**Short Term, since 1995, Airport Records are compared to the 30+ year weather stations of record since 1900 (1895 for rain) at Beaver Creek, Port Alberni “City” and Robertson Creek.  Note that records pre 1950 may be more likely to over-estimate high temperatures.

April 2017  Minimum, Mean, and High Average Temp, Total Precipitation and Highest Wind


Alberniweather5.1º C, 8.3º C, 12.6º C173.2 mm
High Wind: SSE 51.5 kph on the 6th
Alberni Elem. School : 4.9º C, 8.4º C, 12.6° C, 239.3 mm
High Wind: S 21kph on the 5th
Maquinna Elem. School: NA, NA, NA, 249.2 mm
High Wind: 32kph on the 5th
Nick’s Stati
on (Maquinna area): NA, NA, NA, NA
High Wind: NA
Neptune Canada StationNA, NA, NA, NA
High Wind: NA
Overall City Average: 5.0º C, 8.4º C, 12.6º C 206.3 mm

Environment Canada Airport* : 3.7º C, 8.0º C12.4° C, 310.8 mm
High Wind: SE 37kph on the 6th

Normal 1981-2010 (Rbrstn Creek)2.7º C 8.5º C 14.2° C 143.6 mm

*May have used backup Env Canada Data source at WeatherStats.ca

Differences from Normal at Robertson Creek

+2.3° C, -0.1º C, -1.4º C, +62.7 mm (143.7% of normal)
Official Airport
+1.0° C, -0.5º C, -1.2º C, +167.2 mm (216.4% of normal)

Days of Precipitation for April 2017*

Amount : Normal Days : Days This Month
>= 0.2 mm: 17.6 :  29
>= 5 mm:  7.8 : 13
>= 10 mm: 4.7 : 5
>= 25 mm: 1.4 : 0

*May have used backup Env Canada Data source at WeatherStats.ca

Comparison to recent months of APRIL at Alberniweather


March 2006 had an identical average temperature of 5.0ºC. 2006 had higher high temperatures at 9.8ºC vs. 8.7ºC but lowers lows at 1.7ºC vs 2.4ºC.  Rain was similar.

  • 2016: 4º warmer in 2016. 200 lower heat degree days (less heating needed!). Much rainier 2017. See the April 2016 Summary
  • 2015: Similar 2015 but less rain. See the April 2015 Summary
  • 2014: Warmer 2014. Less rain. See the April 2014 Summary 
  • 2013: Warmer 2013.
  • 2012: A little cooler.
  • 2011: Much cooler 2011.
  • 2010: Cooler average temperature in 2010, similar heat days and rain.
  • 2009: Identical average temperature and near same heating and rain.
  • 2008: Much colder 2008, significantly higher heating days but less rain.
  • 2007: Cooler 2007 (an extreme low of -2!) and much rainier.
  • 2006: Similar temperatures but slightly less heating required in 2006. Rainier 2006.

River and Drought Conditions

The BC River Forecast Centre reports that rivers are running strong on the majority of Vancouver Island.  Nearly all are at more than 180% of their normal flow as you can see below.

The Real Time river flow data shows things fluctuating with the rainfall over the past couple weeks.

We have a good, normal, snowpack and it has been cool so the freshet will likely last a while.  This will be something to keep an eye on if we get any strong rain events in the next few weeks.

The overall Drought Level picture will begin to be reported soon.

Snowpack Situation

Our snowpack has peaked on the south Island and is very close to normal for this time of year, which is a very good thing given the past few years of extreme drought. It peaked slightly above the average and appears that it might dip below average as the snow is melting quickly.

South Island/Jump Creek (near Nanaimo Lakes) elevation 1134m

The north Island had a good recovery in April and made up ground to peak just slightly below the average if a little later than usual.  It looks like it is trending right along the average in the initial parts of the melt. Lets hope it continues or even slows a little.

North Island/Wolf Creek (near Gold River) elevation 1422m.

SpotWX 16 day Outlook — A little Warmer but cloudy!

The long term outlook has good news. The good news is we are definitely on the brink of a warming trend that will take us through the May Long Weekend and a little beyond! The other good news is that there is almost no precipitation in the forecast until the very end of the period at the end of the month. SO fingers crossed that this last half of May will be pretty nice compared to the past 2.5 months of grey!

El Niño/La Niña Discussion:

NO Alerts Active.

The current discussion indicates that there is no expectation for either a strong El Niño or La Niña event in the near future.  We are currently firmly in “neutral” conditions and while there does seem to be a slight trend toward a warming/El Niño state, there is much disagreement.  There is only about a 50% of an El Niño forming versus staying neutral.  So nothing big to report here.

Three-Month N-America Forecasts 

North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) 3-month Temperature, Precipitation and Sea Surface Temperature.

The Temperature anomaly for the next 3 months.

The June, July, August (Summer!) has moderated a lot compared to the May/June/July predictions.  The NW part of North America is only a little above normal, the middle of North America is firmly “normal” and the Eastern areas are more above normal. This is going to end up probably feeling cool to the average person because our most recent summers have been so hot.

Last Month’s Three Month Forecast.

As you can see above, this is a huge switch compared to the previous three month look so either May or August were big factors in some way, or the whole picture for June and July has changed as well.

Precipitation Forecast.

The June, July, August forecast has changed a little for precipitation as well compared to last month’s outlook.  We are no longer in a dry zone on the West Coast and dry areas in Southern Ontario and the US MidWest have given way to normal precipitation.  It looks quite wet across the prairies and northern Ontario. This might be a problem for farmers.

Last Month’s Three Month Forecast.

Last Month’s Three Month Forecast.

Also notice the change in precipitation in Mexico and around the Gulf of Mexico.  The increased wetness may be an indication of an active Hurricane season.  We’ll see.

Global seasonal forecasts

Global Temp and Precip Spring, Summer, Fall and/or Winter forecast from current and last month runs. Only 1 of 2 seasons are within the forecasts in any given month.

This months forecasts: Summer and Fall 2017


Summer – The outlook is definitely moderating across the globe.  This may be the subsiding of the previous El Niño conditions… like a hot fever going back down.

This Month’s Global Summer Outlook

Last Month’s Global Summer Outlook

Fall – Again perhaps with the lessened expectations for a new El Niño and further subsiding of temperatures around the globe from the last one, the forecast for the Fall has backed off from extreme heat to simply above average heat.

This Month’s Global Fall Outlook

Last Month’s Global Fall Outlook

Precipitation Forecasts

Summer – Not a lot of change but general trend to normal values.

This Month’s Global Summer Outlook

Last Month’s Global Summer Outlook

Fall – Same trend for fall, again likely El Niño (or lack of) driven.

This Month’s Global Fall Outlook

Last Month’s Global Fall Outlook


Sea Surface Temperature next 3 months

This is the only place where there is a bit of a trend to warmer temperatures in our immediate area.  You should see slightly more colour in the North East Pacific which feeds our weather patterns locally.

This Month’s 3-month outlook on SSTs

Last Month’s 3-month outlook on SSTs

That’s it

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