May brings wild wind and more rainy weather to Vancouver Island

La Nina ocean current and atmospheric river from the Gulf of Alaska causes the bad weather

A beautiful sunset during May at Osborne Bay. (Photo by Karen McInnis)

A beautiful sunset during May at Osborne Bay. (Photo by Karen McInnis)

Wind and rain framed the May weather picture in the Chemainus Valley.

The most notable weather event was May 18 when storm force winds struck the area with sustained gusts of about 100 kilometres per hour and higher gusts closer to 120 km/h, according to Chemainus weather observer/recorder Chris Carss. The winds caused extensive damage, including fallen trees and downed power lines.

May was also another exceptionally cool and wet month, with daytime temperatures more than three degrees Celsius below normal and rainfall more than 60 per cent above the normal amount, Carss added.

Daily sunshine was right on normal despite all the wet weather due to frequent breaks between weather disturbances.

“The bad weather last month was caused by a continuing La Nina ocean current and an atmospheric river originating in the Gulf of Alaska,” Carss explained.

Total days with rainfall, including mixed weather days, amounted to 13. The normal is 11.

Total rainfall for May was 84.3 millimetres, well above the normal of 50.9 mm.

On Thetis Island, it was the second wettest May recorded by Keith Rush at his Foster Point Road residence. The 60.7 mm recorded was only surpassed by 89 mm in May of 2010.

In May of last year, there was only 20.9 mm of rain on Thetis Island and the monthly average is 38.8 mm.

Following are the other statistics recorded by Carss during May:

Temperatures

Mean maximum 14.7 C, normal 18.1 C.

Mean minimum 7.0 C, normal 8.9 C.

Extreme maximum 21.5 C on May 31.

Extreme minimum 3.0 C on May 8 and 13.

Sunshine

Days mostly or partly sunny and dry 13, normal 13.

Days with mixed weather (sunshine and precipitation) 3.

Total days mostly or partly sunny (including mixed weather days) 16.

June started with a brief taste of summer in the Chemainus Valley and southeastern Vancouver Island.

“However, the month as a whole is expected to see a continuation of above normal rainfall,” noted Carss. “The temperatures are expected to warm up slowly, but not quite enough to get us fully back to normal.”

Weather

 

Wild winds were a big part of the May weather story, with trees falling across Hydro lines. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Wild winds were a big part of the May weather story, with trees falling across Hydro lines. (Photo by Don Bodger)