Happy first day of meteorological summer!

June 1st is the beginning of summer for meteorologists; it makes it easier to track climate data if the year is broken up into three month seasons starting on the first of the month (astronomical summer is still three weeks away).

It doesn’t really feel summery, though. Not after the May we’ve had on Vancouver Island.

As we look back at last month’s dry, warm weather, we see an impressive trend.

Victoria recorded 3.4 millimeters of rain in May. That’s 9 per cent of normal, which is 37.5 millimeters. That makes May 2018 the second-driest May on record. May 2015 saw just two millimeters of rain.

Last month was also the second-warmest May on record in Victoria. The mean temperature was 14.3°C, more than two degrees above normal, falling just short of tying 2016 for warmest (May 2016 had a mean temperature of 14.4°C).

Overall, meteorological spring was the ninth-warmest in Victoria, with a mean temperature of 0.8°C above normal.

No wonder the fire risk is creeping up…


Up island, records fell. It was the warmest May on record in Comox. The mean temperature was 15.4°C, a full 3.1 degrees above normal, smashing the previous record of 15.2°C set in 2015. It was also the sixth driest May. meteorological spring was fourth-warmest in Comox, with a mean temperature of 1.4°C above normal.

The weather story is similar in Nanaimo. The mean temperature of 15.4°C was, again, 3 degrees above normal, and a record. May 2016 and May 1995 are now tied for second warmest May’s in Nanaimo; both months had a mean temperature of 15°C.

Throughout B.C. Environment Canada confirms May was warmer and drier almost everywhere.

  • Vancouver – driest May on record. Just 1.6 mm of rain fell. Average is 65mm
  • Abbotsford – tied for hottest May on record, with a mean temperature of 15.5°C.

If you’re wondering how the next three months – meteorological summer – will play out, the seasonal forecast for Vancouver Island suggests temperatures will be warmer than average through to September 1st, despite this week’s slow start.

enviro canada