April in Chilliwack saw summertime weather patterns

It was an exceptionally dry and warm month of April, which could mean we're going to have a scorcher of a summer.

Welcome to the new normal in Chilliwack where spring feels more like summer.

Thirteen high temperature records were broken in April, according to Roger Pannett, a Chilliwack weather observer for Environment Canada.

A strong ridge of high pressure over southern B.C. made for unusually warm, sunny conditions that continued into early April from late March.

A cold front however on April 5, triggered a winter weather warning for the Coquihalla Highway, as a result of one of four brief upper level troughs.

But it was mostly warmer than usual.

“Reoccurring upper level high pressure ridges, resembling a summertime weather pattern, produced a total of 13 high temperature records,” said Pannett in his monthly report. “Eleven of those high temperature records occurred soon after mid-month, during an unusual April provincial heat wave which produced over 100 high temperature records in B.C.”

Rainfall totals for April were more than 50 per cent below normal, with only nine days of light rainfall, which were the fewest number of rainy days in more than 35 years.

Temperature extremes for the month included the record-breaking 29.6 degrees Celsius on April 18, and a low of only 4.5 degrees C on April 16.

“With mean temperatures at 13.9 degrees C, an amazing 4.43 degrees C above normal, it was the hottest April since records started in 1895.”

The next closest in terms of heavy heat in April was in 1934 when mean temperatures were at 13.2 degrees C.

It was the fourth consecutive month and the third consecutive April, where temperatures were well in excess of the standard deviation of plus or minus 1.1°C. There are several examples.

The thunderstorm activity, during the evening of April 21, only produced a 3.4 mm rainfall.

“Looking at the Chilliwack Precipitation Records, which commenced in 1879, dry Aprils often precede hot and dry summers.

“Time will tell!” said Pannett.