Victoria broke its record for driest November in more than 25 years
Rain falls on Vancouver Island on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (Astrid Braunschmidt/CTV Vancouver Island)
VICTORIA -- November is typically the wettest and stormiest month of the year here on Vancouver Island, but not this year. If it seemed drier than usual, you would be right.
According to Environment Canada, it was the eighth driest November on record since the organization began keeping track of precipitation, and there hasn’t been a November this dry since 1993.
Only 53 millimetres of rain fell in the Greater Victoria area as compared to the average 152 millimetres during the month of November.
In contrast, September was much wetter than usual while October was colder than average.
So, what does that all mean for the winter?
Armel Castellan, a warning preparedness meteorologist with the Meteorological Service of Canada, says, “We are kind of in a La Nada, that nothing neutral stage as it comes to that main driver to our winter weather.”
Instead of one general pattern like El Niño or La Niña, this winter will be influenced by shorter weather pattern bursts meaning we may see more extremes when significant weather events do happen, like large swings in both temperature and precipitation throughout the season.
Castellan went on to say, “We are expecting to see temperatures probably warmer than normal over that stretch of December, January and February."
"It’s one of those years where we don’t have as much certainty in that three month forecast as we sometimes do with a big, strong El Niño that’s on the doorstep,” said Castellan.
One of the main influences on our weather patterns this winter will be the Northeast Pacific Marine Heat Wave of 2019, or ‘Blob‘, which redeveloped this year off the B.C. coast.
On a more local level, a dry fall followed by a drier than normal winter would mean trouble for water reservoirs, lakes, rivers and snow packs in the area.
This week though is not looking so dry. Environment Canada predicts that we will get some much needed rain and in higher elevations above 1500 meters, there will be snow.
As far as a white Christmas goes, Castellan says it’s too early to tell. But, on average, there is a five to six per cent chance for snow over the holidays in Victoria.