With weather which made it feel more like mid-summer than late spring, Environment Canada says temperatures in the Comox Valley in May were a good eight degrees above normal for that time of year.
Although daytime high records were not broken (but came within 1/10th of a degree), meteorologist for the organization Matt MacDonald notes the area came “close, but no cigar” to breaking records.
“There’s a couple of factors at play. Warm waters off the Pacific Ocean sea surface play a huge role in determining a temperature regime. It’s made it two, three or four degrees above normal overall.”
The second factor, MacDonald explains, is the overall atmospheric circulation.
“There’s a big ridge of high pressure and air from the south which is extending all the way to the Northwest Territories.”
He added the overall temperature in the Strait of Georgia is also warmer than usual.
May received 13.2 mm of precipitation; enough to register the month as the fifth driest since 1945.
While water levels around the region are low, MacDonald notes the total precipitation so far this year is close to normal. The statistic is deceiving though, he adds, because instead of consistent precipitation, the rain came in a few heavy amounts.
“Thanks to three pineapple expresses, we’ve got precipitation (levels) near normal. But because of the warmer than normal temperatures, it fell as rain rather than snow, and we were quick to lose mid-to-high snowpacks.”
Currently MacDonald notes we’re in a moderate El Nino pattern, and while the effects of the weather system is generally felt in the fall and winter season, he adds indicators point to a warmer than normal summer.