From Cumberland to Campbell River, large snowflakes fell on Tuesday morning, catching many residents in the North Island area by surprise.
“I looked outside and called to my wife and asked if she’d looked outside yet,” said Al Channell, a Campbell River resident. “So we both had a good surprise. By that time, it was snowing really heavily out here and it was about two inches of snow. This is nuts.”
Armel Castellan, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, reported that three centimetres of snow officially fell at the Campbell River Airport, while other higher parts of the city saw between 5-8 cm.
Castellan noted that most of April’s daytime high temperatures in Campbell River and other Vancouver Island locations have been below normal.
In fact, Monday’s high temperature of 5.5 degrees in Campbell River was the coldest recorded for the date, 2.3 degrees lower than the previous record of 7.8 degrees. The normal high is 13 degrees.
“We have a fairly large low-pressure center just offshore of B.C., and it’s dragging a lot of cold air from the north down to our latitude,” he explained. “These systems generally don’t move very quickly in the spring.”
Castellan added that the third straight La Niña winter and below-normal sea surface temperatures from Alaska down to the Baja are contributing factors to the cooler-than-seasonal temperatures.
However, Castellan hinted that a turnaround may be in sight by the end of next week, with temperatures close to or above normal.
“It looks like we’re headed into a drier and warmer trend in the medium term to finish off the month as sea surface temperatures and big troughs offshore aren’t the dominating force,” he said.