Sweltering June breaks Cowichan weather records

Cowichan’s hot, dry June broke all local weather records.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist, Matt MacDonald, "in terms of temperatures, you had some pretty significant records in the Cowichan Valley. It’s one thing to beat daily records but when you beat a monthly record, that’s pretty outstanding." June 2015 was the warmest June on record in North Cowichan.

"The average temperature was 18.4 degrees compared to the normal of 15.3. That’s almost three degrees warmer; it’s incredible. The average in Duncan was a little cooler at 17.9 but equally the warmest on record for June," he said.

It was also another extremely dry month, which is not normal in this season.

"Duncan only reported 4.2 mm of rain this month. We often refer to June as ‘June-uary’ because we typically see these upper low pressure systems that become detached from the jetstream and can stay parked over the area for days, sometimes weeks. June is usually showery. There are an average of 10 days with rain in June and this month we only saw three in the Cowichan Valley."

Even the rain that fell was negligible, said MacDonald, describing 4.2 mm as "visually about the thickness of a nickel".

The normal amount of precipitation in Duncan is 36.7 mm for the month of June.

"That means you only got 10-12 per cent of normal rain this month. And that’s on the heels of an extremely dry May that was record breaking in terms of precipitation."

The Cowichan Valley is only part of a much larger area being hit by these extreme conditions.

"All of southwestern B.C. has been extremely dry and warm. It’s been a record breaking dry and warm spell that’s lasted more or less for two months."

This recent heat wave set several daily records in Island areas like the Malahat and Campbell River, primarily on Saturday, June 27, which was a really warm one.

"We got up to the mid-to-low 30s across the Island. The hot spot on Saturday was Port Alberni with 36.6 degrees. And it’s only June," MacDonald said.

Heat waves occur here almost every summer but typically they come in the second half of July and the beginning of August.

"To see a heat wave this early is pretty exceptional and I think it’s an indication of what’s to come this summer," he said.

A major factor in the consistency of hot-weather forecasts comes from what scientists are calling The Blob. The Blob is sitting off the west coast of Vancouver Island. "It’s a mass of water that’s 1,000 km by 1,000 km and 100 metres deep, and it’s three to four degrees warmer than normal. That blob of water was first noticed in the fall of 2013 and it’s been gradually strengthening. The reason for it is in the last two winters we haven’t seen big intense storms with winds and waves that mix that water. That Blob is injecting the atmosphere with a considerable amount of heat and because all of our weather more or less comes in from the west, that explains the temperature side of things.

"From a precipitation point of view, we’ve just been blocked with a big high pressure pattern that just doesn’t want to budge. The precipitation forecasts for the next two weeks offer no relief in sight," he said.

According to the federal government’s Climate and Weather report, Shawningan Lake’s temperature of 33.5 C recorded June 27 was the hottest around the Valley recently. It was also hotter than last year’s June high of 25 C and even beat 2013’s 31.5 C on that sweltering June 30 of 2013.

In North Cowichan, June 27 was also the month’s hottest day, with the mercury reaching 33.1 C. Duncan also reached 33 degrees on June 27, beating the 32.5 C registered on local thermometers on June 26, 2006.

Just Posted

Robert's column
Robert Barron column: Skyrocketing house prices a tragedy

North Cowichan councillor Rosalie Sawrie brought an interesting perspective to a discussion… Continue reading

Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

Cute but fierce! Timber moonlights as an attack kitty. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Beware of Mr. Bite, the midnight attacker

Last week, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read