Welcome to Mayvember: Weather records shattered across coastal BC

May 13 2022, 9:12 pm

Thursday was the coldest May 12 in more than 100 years for many communities in BC.

A cold front smashed daytime high records for a slew of cities and towns on the coast and the eastern edge of Vancouver Island. Meteorologist Brian Proctor with Environment and Climate Change Canada said La Nina in the Pacific Ocean has been to blame for an unseasonably cool spring.

Vancouver only got up to 10.5Ā°C on Thursday, the coldest recorded May 12 since records began in 1896. The next-coldest May 12 was 58 years ago.

“In the last few days, we had a frontal system go through, and really cold air on the backside of it punched things down further,” Proctor said. “Some pretty longstanding records fell from a number of communities.”

Temperature Records:

  • West Vancouver: New record low daytime high of 8.9Ā°C, breaking record from 1986
  • Victoria: 10.6Ā°C, breaking record from 1945 (records go back to 1914)
  • Vancouver: 10.5Ā°C, breaking record from 1964 (records go back to 1896)
  • Sechelt: 8.7Ā°C; old record of 11.7Ā°C set in 1986.
  • Qualicum Beach: New record of 8.7Ā°C, smashing old record of 12Ā°C from 1925
  • Powell River: New record of 8.4Ā°C, colder than old record of 10.4Ā°C set in 1986
  • Port Alberni: 8.4Ā°C, colder than previous record of 11.7Ā°C from 1911 (records go back to 1900)
  • Nanaimo: 8.9Ā°C, smashing records from 1911

A number of communities also broke rainfall records, including Powell River, which saw 45.5 millimetres on Thursday.

For those eagerly anticipating summer weather, Proctor said not to get hopes up too high.

“La Nina is lingering, and it’s held on longer than we would have thought it would have initially,” he said. “It’s just been a cool, slow start to spring. And we’re not really seeing anything indicating really substantial warming at this point in time right through the end of the month.”

It may take until mid-June for temperatures to reach seasonal levels, he said.

“We call it the May and June gloom,” he said. “It’s going to be a very gradual climb up toward the end of the month. It’s not going to immediately turn on the heat and turn to spring/summer very quickly.”

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