Pleasant May weather setting us up for Dry summer?
May was above average for temperatures, and well below average for rainfall. Check out the full report below.
Snowpack is gone
On average, the snowpack usually disappears sometime in July. However, the BC River Forecast Centre shows the snowpack pack effectively disappeared by the end of May, 2 weeks earlier than last year and a full month before it usually does.
The River Forecast Centre June 1 report (PDF) indicates that snowpacks on Vancouver Island are around 35% of normal. This also happens to be roughly the percentage of rainfall we got of normal as well. The River Forecast Centre said:
Temperatures through May were generally 1-3˚C above normal through western British Columbia….Drier than normal conditions were experienced in May through most of south-western British Columbia and South Interior. Periods of hotter weather through May led to rapid snow melt, particularly in the mid-elevation snow packs of the province.
With low seasonal snow packs on Vancouver Island… these regions are expected to transition into lower than normal flows into the summer. These regions are at increased risk for potential low stream flows this year, particularly if late-spring and summer weather is hot and dry.
We are always luckier than most on the Island with our abundant supplies of rivers and streams flowing uniquely into our Valley but please consider the amount of water to use. The more you save now, the less likely we will have water restrictions or problems with water levels in the rivers later.
Temperatures above normal. Rainfall well below.
For the month of May we were consistently 1º C above normal on minimum, maximum and average temperatures.
Rainfall was well below normal. 34% of our normal values.
Brett Anderson of Accuweather provided (link below) a good map of the May temperature anomalies for Canada. You can see BC is consistently more than 1-2º C above normal.
Setting up for a dry Summer?
The long range outlooks for June and the Summer continue to look dry and hot for our part of North America. Next week is looking particularly hot and dry for this time of year.
Average Daily Temperature for May:
Environment Canada Airport: 13.7° C
Alberniweather: 14.5° C
Alberni Elementary: 14.2° C
Maquinna: 13.9° C
Neptune Canada: 14.2° C
Overall City Average: 14.2° C
1981-2010 Environment Canada Normal (Alberni Robertson Creek): 12.3° C
City Station Ave. Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: +1.4° C
Official (Airport) Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: +1.9° C
Average Minimum Daily Temperature for May:
EC: 7.8° C
Alberniweather: 9.7° C
AES: 9.3° C
MAQ: 9.4° C
NEP: 9.6° C
Overall City Average: 9.5° C
1981-2010 Environment Canada Normal (Alberni Robertson Creek): 6.0° C
City Station Ave. Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: +3.5° C
Official (Airport) Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: +1.8° C
Average Maximum Daily Temperature for May:
Alberniweather: 19.7° C
AES: 19.5° C
MAQ: 19.2° C
NEP: 20.1° C
Overall City Average: 19.63° C
1981-2010 Environment Canada Normal (Alberni Robertson Creek): 18.6° C
City Station Ave. Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: +1.03° C
Official (Airport) Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: +1.0° C
Average Precipitation for May:
EC: 29.6 mm
Alberniweather: 31.7 mm
AES: 33.4 mm
MAQ: 36.6 mm
NEP: NA (not measured)
Overall City Average: 33.9 mm
1981-2010 Environment Canada Normal (Alberni Robertson Creek): 87.8 mm
City Station Ave. Difference Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: -53.9 mm (39% normal)
Official (Airport) Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: -58.2 mm (34% of normal)
Comparison to recent February’s at Alberniweather (only).
2013: May 2014 was a 1ºC warmer than last year, and just a little (10mm) drier.
May 2012 was much colder compared to this year but we received a similarly small (37mm) amount of rain.
May 2011 was very cold (2-3ºC colder) and while it was still below average, May 2011 saw double the rain we got this year.
May 2010 (the last El Niño by the way) was again much colder than this year and 3 times wetter with slightly above average (97mm) rainfall.
Again, May 2009 was noticeable cooler than 2014 by a degree or more. May 2009 was also, like 2010, wet. Receiving 99mm at the Airport.
May 2008 is the most recent May with the most similar temperature conditions. Highs were higher than this month (20.8ºC) but lows were a bit lower. May 2008 was however, bone dry. With nearly zero precipitation at the Airport.