April 2020 Summary – Low rain but good snowpack.

A very rainy, but not quite record rainy, month.

The Alberniweather and Alberni Valley Climate Summary for April 2020

If we compare to last year’s pretty average month, this year seemed pretty average too. The Airport set 4 new low temperature records and 3 new highs but none were all time records. In fact there were records, first cold, then hot, on 5 straight days in the middle of April. Only April 13 got within 1 degree of an all time record for the day.

Rainfall lower than normal again

Once again we had lower rainfall than normal at between 40-65%. There were no days with more than 25mm and only 11 days with more than a trace of precipitation, the normal for the latter is 14.

We had a few less days of rain across all amounts.

We had a little closer to normal rain in the City than we did at the Airport as the Airport is usually wetter this time of year. Temperatures were also warmer than normal in the City than the Airport. The City was 1.2ºC warmer than normal on average.

Good Snowpack for May 1!

The snowpack at April 1 for the Island as a whole was at 86% and all Island stations have hovered around 80-85% as the month has progressed. As of May 1 the Island as a whole is at 101% of normal with both south and north island snowpack quite healthy. A good snowpack compared to recent years especially.

El Niño staying Neutral through summer and possibly fall.

The latest report from the ENSO Diagnostic discussion at the NOAA Climate Prediction Centre is that we will have “neutral” conditions (not an El Niño, or La Niña) through the summer and “remaining the most likely outcome through autumn.” As a result there is no ENSO Alert issued at this time. Good news.

Story of the Month

There was no other story of the month! This was our first full month of COVID-19 related Pandemic shutdown. What a strange month it was. Weather wise, it was sure nice to have that warm weather at the beginning. The latter half of the month was decidedly gloomier but it’s looking up now!

That’s it for this month’s summary! Details and records below!

Daily and All Time Records Set

Set at the Airport* since 1994 and compared to other stations** for “All Time” since 1900.

Four low temp records including one with a high temp on the same day. None eclipsed all time highs or lows for the day.

  • Apr 6 low temp -3.5 ºC: #1 is -5.0ºC at Beaver Creek in 1929.
  • Apr 7 low temp -1.7 ºC (tied 2009): #1 is -5.0ºC at Port Alberni in 1921.
  • Apr 12 low temp -3.4 ºC: #1 is -6.1ºC at Robertson Creek in 1968.
  • Apr 13 low temp -3.0 ºC: #1 is -3.9ºC at Beaver Creek in 1911 and Robertson Creek in 1970.
  • Apr 14 high temp 21.7 ºC: #1 is 30.0ºC at Beaver Creek in 1926.
  • Apr 15 high temp 21.6 ºC: #1 is 28.3ºC at Beaver Creek in 1951.
  • Apr 16 high temp 22.6 ºC: #1 is 28.3ºC at Beaver Creek in 1951.

City Station Comparisons

Mean Min, Mean, and Mean Max Temperature, 
Total Precipitation and Highest Wind

  • Alberniweather: 4.4 ºC, 9.9 ºC, 16.0 ºC63.5 mm , S 43.5 kph on 23rd
  • Alberni Elem. : 4.0 ºC, 9.6 ºC, 15.8 ºC, 79.0 mm, WSW 29 kph on 27th
  • Maquinna Elem.: 4.6 ºC, 9.5 ºC, 15.5 ºC, 81.0 mm, – 29 kph on 25th
  • Neptune: 4.6 ºC, 9.8 ºC, 16.3 ºCNA*** , SSE 9 kph on 25th
  • Nick’s (Maq area): 4.4 ºC, 9.3 ºC, 15.2 ºC63.8 mm, SE 42.5 kph on 25th

City and Airport
Compared to Normal

Differences from Normal in the City (Sea Level)

+1.7° C, +1.2º C, +1.8 ºC-38.0 mm (65%)

This Month’s Values

Differences from Normal at the Airport (Valley)

+0.8° C, +0.4º C, +1.7º C -83.9 mm (42%)

This Month’s Values

Official Days of Precipitation at Airport*

Normal DaysDays This Month
>= 0.2 mm: 16.7 :  11
>= 5 mm:  6.7 : 4
>= 10 mm: 3.8 : 3
>= 25 mm: 0.7 : 0

* May have used backup Environment Canada Data source at WeatherStats.ca or Missing Data (January 2020)

**^^ Missing Data from Airport, Alberniweather broke existing Airport record temperature. Temperature at Alberniweather will be different. Usually Alberniweather underestimates temperatures in summer compared to Airport.

** Short Term means since 1995 at the new AVRA Airport.  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.

***Rain gauge faulty. ****Alberni Elementary station offline.

****Nick's data currently unavailable (not Nicks fault :)) 

^Estimated amount, as new rain gauge installed on the 7th, used Alberni Elementary totals before that date.

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