After seeing its driest March on record this year, Kelowna just experienced its driest May to date as well, according to one meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Meteorologist Lisa Erven said that Kelowna received only eight to nine per cent of its monthly average of precipitation in May.
“We saw 3.5 mm of rain through the month of May. Typically, we expect 40.2 mm of rain,” said Erven.
She highlighted that a combined spring analysis revealed that other communities across the Okanagan also experienced record dry spells last month.
“Penticton came in with its fifth driest spring, and Kelowna and Vernon with the driest spring on record,” she said.
The summer outlook, she said, is looking like a warmer than normal summer in the Okanagan, as well as for areas across southern B.C.
“The sunshine is great for, of course, enjoying the outdoors and being able to socialize responsibly,” she said. “But really, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. We need the rain.”
In March, Kelowna received a total of 2.6 mm of precipitation, compared to the monthly average of almost 22 mm. April wasn’t much different — only 7.4 mm of precipitation was recorded, far below the monthly average of 29 mm.
“Basically, over the two months of March and April, we really only got about 20 per cent of the average precipitation that we normally get in Kelowna,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon.
The heatwave that kicked off June will transition into a cooler and wet pattern for the first weekend of the month. The average precipitation level for the month of June in Kelowna is 45.9 mm, and Erven said that any rainfall Kelowna receives this month is key.
“In May, we practically got nothing and that’s one of our wetter months,” she said. “So this shift to a wetter pattern for this weekend, in the bigger picture, we need the rain.”