Island’s May weather on track to be one of the warmest and driest on record


WATCH: The weather this month could take ‘spring sizzle’ to a whole new level. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

Peninsula strawberries are one of the first signs of summer.

First of the season strawberries at Michell Farms in Saanich are flying off the shelves.

“They’re picked ripe and they’re sold within an hour or two of being picked,” said Terry Michell of Michell Bros. Farm. “That really brings the flavour out on them.”

While this year’s strawberry harvest is later than last year, Michell says they’re picking between 20 to 30 rows each day.

“We should have a good 30 to 40 tonnes off this farm of strawberries,” Michell explained.

Michell says their “berry” big size is from an increase of moisture and a drier than normal May.

It’s been so dry this month meteorologist Armel Castellan, from Environment and Climate Change Canada, says it could be one of the warmest and driest Mays on record for parts of Vancouver Island.

“Nanaimo and Comox are most certainly going to set records for warmth,” Castellan said.

This month, the mean temperature has been 14.3 C in Victoria compared to the average of 12 C.

Victoria has only had 3.4 millilitres of rain this May compared to the average of 40 millilitres.

“We’re talking about less than 10 percent of a regular May,” Castellan said.

While this dry weather is beneficial for sun-worshipers and farmers, it’s raising concerns for the wildfire season in the province.

“If June turns out to be dry or drier than normal and also warmer then those are the ingredients that will make the fire season more intense,” Castellan explained.

It’s not only Vancouver Island impacted by this dry stretch.

Preliminary weather data indicates what could be the hottest May on record in the USA since the ‘Dust Bowl’ in 1934.

Back home, the chance to chow down on the season’s best is keeping customers coming back for more.

“Watch for local berries,” Michell said. “They’re ready to be eaten!”

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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