FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — We now have Environment Canada confirmation that last month just missed being the warmest April on record at the local airport weather station.
But, it had to settle for second warmest and thus a silver medal.
The average mean temperature was 7.6 degrees. While that’s nearly four degrees above the April norm of 3.9, it is two tenths of a degree below the record average of 7.8 established 36 years ago.
However, the maximum high was 22.2 degrees on the April 28, 1980. That’s more than six degrees less than the high recorded on 18 of last month, at 28.5 — now warmest ever day in April in this area.
In addition, in 1980 there were only two days in April with highs of 20 degrees or better, and 13 at 15 or more — but this year there were four at 20 degrees or more, and 17 that matched or exceeded 15 degrees.
Besides being very warm, April was also very dry, and for those who missed the earlier report, the airport weather station posted another below average monthly precipitation total.
The April norm in 20 millimeters, but with a total of only 12 point five this year, it became the tenth below average month of the last twelve.
That left the precipitation total for the fiscal year ending April 30, at 344.5 millimetres, and that’s 100 millimetres — or close to four inches — below the local area annual average.
Needless to say in such a tinder dry environment, the possibility of record high temperatures again today and tomorrow, and a seven day forecast, with no precipitation present new concerns for those battling local wildfires.
The provincial Wildfire Agency has posted the number of April fires in the province’s six fire centres at 181. It also says 79 of them — triple the ten year average of 26 — were discovered in the Prince George Centre.
It also confirms that 58 of them, or nearly three quarters of the total, were here in the Peace Region.