Sunny day in May at the Crofton ferry terminal. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Sunny day in May at the Crofton ferry terminal. (Photo by Don Bodger)

May showers avoided, June roller coaster expected in Vancouver Island weather

More days of sunshine and drier weather throughout the month

May weather isn’t always a good indication of what’s to come during the summer around the province.

The wettest May on record occurred in 2017 and, yet, that summer’s wildfire season turned out to be one of the worst on record. Conversely, a dry May in 2020 didn’t hold up through June and into early July with a mixed bag of weather that was far from summer-like.

May 2021 has followed suit from April with predominantly dry conditions around the Island.

Related story: Long dry spell in April unlikely to be duplicated in May

Just 29 millimetres of rain was recorded by Chris Carss, a volunteer weather observer/recorder for Environment Canada, at his Chemainus home during the month. The normal May yields 50.9 mm.

If the beginning of the week felt unusually hot, that’s because the thermometer nearly reached a record-breaking high for the beginning of June.

Temperatures at the Comox weather station on June 1 reached 29.1 C – just 0.3 C shy of the hottest temperature on record for the area on that day. In both 1924 and 1961, the highs reached a record-setting 29.4 C, said Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Lisa Erven.

Despite the warm weather, Erven explained June is a “rollercoaster type of month” in terms of temperatures and precipitation, living up to its ‘June-uary’ nickname.

“We can really get all sorts of weather heading into early summer. Throughout most of B.C., a lot of places got a taste of summer.”

She noted while the ridge of high pressure was picked up on models a few days in advance, the weather in June can have drastic swings. While the mid-week will stay in warmer temperatures, from June 3 throughout the weekend to at least June 7, Erven said residents can expect a shift into cooler weather with showers, with a daytime high reaching 22 C on Thursday, June 3.

“We’re about to hit a major shift, so get out there today and enjoy the vitamin D, but do so with your layers of protection and make sure to stay hydrated.”

Even as the rain stayed away in May, temperatures were generally lower, with Carss recording a mean daily maximum of 17.4 degrees Celsius compared to the normal of 18.1 C and a mean minimum that matched the normal of 8.9 C. The extreme maximum of 24.5 C was only reached at the end of the month on May 31, with the minimum of a chilly 5.0 C on May 8.

But the number of days that were mostly or partly sunny and dry stood out at 20. The normal is just 13.

“As expected, May 2021 turned out to be another mostly springlike month like last year, but unlike Mays during much of the 2010 decade that often marked the beginning of the main season of summer weather,” noted Carss. “There were a few brief summer previews around mid-May, but temperatures generally averaged about a half degree below normal the rest of the time.

“More in keeping with summer was the rainfall which occurred with about average frequency during the month, but yielded only a little more than 50 per cent of the normal total accumulated amount for May,” he continued. “As might be expected for such a dry month, the total number of mostly or partly sunny days without rainfall was a good 50 per cent above normal.”

In the Comox Valley, the area reached 76.8 per cent of its normal precipitation for the month of May. In comparison, Nanaimo only reached 40 percent while Campbell River reached 50 percent.

In the next few months, the province will enter a dry season, and while precipitation measurements for the month are difficult to predict, Erven noted a cooler shift is expected at least until the middle of next week.

“Shower days are not so great for beach days, but help for drought conditions and forest fires. Spring was really dry, particularly in the southern part of the province – it hit the top five driest springs on record.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Weather

 

Blue skies, with snow-capped mountains in the background, at the Stuart Channel Wharves beside the Crofton pulp mill. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Blue skies, with snow-capped mountains in the background, at the Stuart Channel Wharves beside the Crofton pulp mill. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Wispy clouds against a bright blue sky over Chemainus during May. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Wispy clouds against a bright blue sky over Chemainus during May. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Police are asking opponents of logging near Port Renfrew not to involve their children following additional arrests Saturday. (Black Press Media File)
Police arrest eight protesters including two minors near Port Renfrew Saturday

RCMP ask parents not to involve their children in Fairy Creek logging protests

Future grads at Oak Bay High will have greater scholarship opportunities available through the Oak Bay Rotary Club. (Black Press Media file photo)
Private donor quadruples donations to Oak Bay Rotary scholarship funds

The club has awarded more than $25,000 to Oak Bay High students

Elaine Kirwin in her Expedia Cruises office talks about the future of travel. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Sidney travel agency charts course through pandemic

Owner of Expedia Cruises in Sidney expects smooth sailing ahead once travel restrictions lift

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read