Those exact points when one season ends and another starts usually don’t mean much on Vancouver Island, making June 2020 all the more significant.
“Rejoice all ye who like to observe the calendar seasons!,” exclaimed Chemainus weather observer/recorder Chris Carss. “For the first time in at least half a decade, the summer weather didn’t arrive way early this year. Our warmest season had been starting meteorologically in early or mid-May, leaving the solstice as the longest day of the year, but hardly the start of summer in any meaningful way.
“This year is looking quite different, with May and early June offering mostly spring weather and only occasional foretastes of summer.”
Accordig to Carss, our first good stretch of summer weather started on June 16, just four days before the much-celebrated solstice — close enough to say the meteorological and calendar (astronomical) summers started concurrently.
Sunshine, however, remained a scarce commodity for what was supposed to be the start of summer. Cool wet weather that dominated the first half of June slowly gave way to warmer and drier conditions during the second half of the month for a bit of a summer boost. But it was a very wet month by normal standards with a total rainfall of 84.0 millimetres. There was only 19.6 mm last June and the normal is 43.5 mm.
Overall daytime temperatures for June averaged about a degree Celsius below normal and two degrees less than last year. The mean daily maximum was 20.2 C compared to last year’s 22.4 C and the normal of 21 C.
Overnight lows of 11.9 C were closer to the 11.8 C normal and last year’s 12.4 C due to the persistent cloud cover that acted like a temperature blanket nearly around the clock.
The extreme maximum of 25.5 C occurred near the end of the month on June 28 and the extreme minimum was 8.0 C on June 14.
Ten days had mostly or partly sunny conditions. There were 17 last year and normal days with sunshine is 14.
Of the 20 mostly cloudy days, 15 had rainfall – including a day with hail – five above the normal of 10 days with rain or showers.
The early days of July didn’t exactly mark a turning point into summer just yet.
“With the return of cool unsettled weather at the end of June, the first few days of July felt more like spring than summer with daytime temperatures depressed mostly to the upper teens,” noted Carss.
“As usual, but not always, July promises overall to be somewhat warmer than June, but a similar pattern to June seems to be emerging with the month starting off cool and wet, then gradually getting warmer, drier, and sunnier as the month progresses.“
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