It's been an unusually dry month along the east coast of Vancouver Island and Powell River. (Pexels.com)
VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – It’s been an incredibly dry June on most of Vancouver Island and Powell River.
Going into a showery Thursday, the month had seen spotty precipitation from Nanaimo north to Campbell River, choking out vegetation and painting lawns yellow.
Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said it’s shaping up to be a historically dry month.
“I think if we don’t get the rain over the next few days, yeah, certainly (it could be historical),” he said. “And even with a bit of rain, we’re still going to see some interesting numbers when the month is over. In context, we missed the June rains. We usually count on the June rains and we largely missed them and we’re only somewhat making that up today and the next two days.”
It’s been especially dry in the Comox Valley, which up to June 26th, has only seen three millimetres of rain. The normal amount in the valley for June is 43 millimetres.
This builds on a parched spring in the valley. Comox had the driest spring on record with only 34.4 percent of normal precipitation
Just nine millimetres of rain fell on Powell River from June 1st to 26th. That’s a fraction of the normal amount of 68 millimetres in June.
Port Hardy is the outlier. Through the first 26 days of June, the community has seen 58 millimetres of rain, a little shy of its usual amount of 81 millimetres.
“The far north end of the island is looking a little closer to average,” Lundquist said.
Further south in Nanaimo, there were just five millimetres of rain up to Thursday, falling far short of the normal amount of 43 millimetres.
“So you can see the picture there,” Lundquist said. “From about Powell River southward, there is a big deficit in the amount of rainfall. We are picking some up and the month isn’t over and we’re going to get showers over the next couple of days to amount to maybe five to 10 (millimetres) on the north end of the island and 10 to 20 for the south of the island and towards Powell River.”
Lundquist said a strong ridge of high pressure that has sat down on the western half of B.C. is behind the dry conditions.
He added that after the showers pass through, the month will end as it began: warm and dry.
“For the long weekend, we’re expecting the (high) ridge to gradually kind of build back in,” he said. “We’re talking about temperatures getting into the low, perhaps mid-20s. If there’s one silver lining about this story about the rain is (that) it’s well-timed. We’re getting the rain over with before the weekend and the weekend is largely dry with sunshine.”