Weather conditions in May were mostly cool and wet in Chilliwack, delaying wildfire season along with seasonal snow melt, according to Roger Pannett, Chilliwack’s volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada.
It was a series of upper-level low-pressure troughs that plagued B.C. all month long, “another symptom of the lingering La Nina,” Pannett wrote in his May weather report.
“The good news, concerning the above-normal precipitation and below-normal temperatures, is the contribution to wildfire suppression.”
However as a direct result of persistent cool temperatures, the delayed snow melt in the alpine has increased the Fraser River basin snowpack to 129 per cent above normal, he said. With no hot weather in May, the arrival of spring freshet was stalled, and then it proceeded slowly and steadily.
On May 31, at the Mission gauge, the Fraser water level rose to 3.25 metres. This compares to 4.5 metres a year ago, and 5.25 metres two years ago.
Temperature extremes were a low of 4.9 C (-2.4 C) on May 13, and high of 24.2 C (+4.2 C) on May 31, which was the warmest day since the 25 C on September 25, 2021. The 24.2 C May max was the lowest in 11 years.
But for the second consecutive May, no temperature records were set. With mean temperatures at 12.59 C, 0.41 C below normal (standard deviation + or -1.4 C) it was the coolest May since 2011.
With rainfall at 12.6 per cent above average, it was the wettest May since 2013. There were 23 days with rainfall, well above the average 12 days and the most since May 1990.
Total March to May spring rainfall was 355.4 mm, which is 88.7 per cent of normal precipitation. However the 65 days of spring rainfall are well above the 44 day normal.
The 2022 precipitation total to date is 683.9 mm on 97 days compared to the average of 859.1 mm on 80 days.
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