Crofton shines on a sunny day June 1. (Photo by Don Bodger)

May weather all over the map in the Chemainus Valley

Dramatic departure from monthly normals seen over the last few years

May weather returned to more springlike conditions across the Chemainus Valley for the first time in nearly half a decade.

That’s in contrast to the latter half of the 2010 decade when May brought early summer conditions much of the time.

“Despite this slight cooling off, the month still managed to register temperatures averaging about a degree above normal,” pointed out longtime weather observer/recorder Chris Carss, a volunteer at his Chemainus home for Environment Canada.

“Sunshine was still at least a little above normal and rainfall a little below historical averages, but these slight anomalies were less than the more dramatic departures from monthly normals seen over the last few years,” he added.

It looked for a time back on May 9 and 10 that we might be headed for another early summer when the highest temperatures of the month occurred, bordering on 27 degrees Celsius or 80 on the old Fahrenheit scale.

“Temperatures quickly fell back into spring weather that didn’t warm up again until we reached the mid 20s for a while just after the Victoria Day weekend,” Carss indicated. “May as a whole didn’t show any clear patterns in the weather. Conditions changed frequently from sun to cloud to showers and back again, occasionally flirting with summer by breaking the 20 C barrier into real shirtsleeve weather for a few days at a time. It was all a good example of the old saying, ‘If you don’t like the weather right now, just wait five minutes!’.”

Temperatures and conditions in the Chemainus Valley remained springlike as May transitioned into June. Carss noted estimates provided by established forecast services have suggested the transition to a more lasting summer regime won’t happen until around June 14.

“This would put the start of our main summer weather about a week ahead of the much-hyped summer solstice which marks the longest day of the year, but not much else in the way of any real spike in the warmth of the local weather most years,” he observed. “Temperatures and sunshine should continue a bit above average while the rainfall remains a bit below. COVID may put a bit of a damper on any summer kick-off that might be planned for this year, which would be ironic since the ‘customary’ – but not legally official – observance of the solstice may fall closer to the beginning of the real summer weather than it has for a few years.”

May’s mean maximum temperature was 19.1 C, a degree above the normal of 18.1 C. The mean daily minimum of 9.8 C was also nearly a degree above the normal of 8.9 C.

The extreme maximum of 26.5 C occurred on May 9 and 10. The extreme minimum was 4.5 C on May 4.

There were 15 days with mostly or partly sunny conditions, two days above the normal. Of the 16 mostly cloudy days, 12 had rainfall. The normal number of days with rain or showers is 11.

Total rainfall for May came close to the normal of 50.9 millimetres at 47.0 mm.

On Thetis Island at Keith Rush’s Foster Point Road residence, he recorded 53.2 mm of rain. Last year’s May total was only 23.6 and the average May produces 38.5 mm of precipitation.

For the year to date, Thetis Island is at 578.6 mm. The average year to date is 469.2 mm.

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