Saturday will mark five weeks since we’ve had any rainfall at the Victoria International Airport (YYJ).
And with less than 30 millimetres of rain recorded since the end of April at YYJ, Canada’s driest city in summer is in an even more severe situation this year.
The 29.4 mm recorded at the airport since April 27 — more than 11 weeks — is about the same amount of precipitation that we had in just the first seven days of July 2022.
The YYJ rainfall deficit in the last year is even more striking.
We’re at just 57 per cent of normal since July 8, 2022, with only 488 mm at the airport. The normal yearly total is 846 mm.
And that’s why, to really understand the dire drought situation on Vancouver Island, which is already level five — the highest level in the province — is happening so early in the season, and the extreme fire danger due to lack of rain, you have to go back to last summer.
The second week of July 2022 is when last year’s summer drought started, with no rainfall after July 7 recorded at the airport.
August 2022 saw just one millimetre of rain. Normal rainfall for the month is around 24 mm.
September, which typically sees 31 mm, was even drier with just 0.8 mm last year.
The sunny, warmer-than-normal weather continued into October with below-seasonal rainfall.
Last November, normally our wettest month of the year with 148 mm, received only 78.2 mm, or just over 50 per cent of the normal November precipitation.
December 2022 rainfall was also down and January’s 67.4 mm was just half of the 133 mm the month normally sees.
February was even drier with just 38.1 mm, or 46 per cent of normal 83 mm average.
The dry trend then continued through most of meteorological spring (March 1-May 31).
Story continues below
☀️ If it already looks like this in #Victoria #BC in May, I can’t imagine what it will be like in August. 😳 I’ve never seen it this dry so soon. 🌵@CHEK_News @CHEK_media #YYJwx #BCstorm #BCheat #ClimateCrisis pic.twitter.com/UkcI0OARV5
— Tess van Straaten (@tessvanstraaten) May 25, 2023
This past March saw just 45 per cent of the normal rainfall total, with 34 mm instead of around 72 mm.
April showers of 54.4 mm surpassed the typical 48 mm, marking the only month that didn’t see below-normal rainfall in the last year.
But May set all-time heat records and was one of the driest Mays ever recorded with just 11.6 mm, or only a third of the normal precipitation for the month of 37.5 mm.
A wet June was the only hope to reduce the wildfire danger, but with under 17 mm of rain, below the average of 30.6 mm, there was no Juneuary this year.
Story continues below
☔️Here's a look at how little rain we've had this year in #Victoria — just 222 mm — and we'll end June and start July dry. Normal rainfall for the first six months of the year at #YYJ is 407 mm. I'll have your #BCwx forecast @CHEK_News at 5 & 6 p.m. @CHEK_media #BCstorm #YYJwx pic.twitter.com/NIXVp6UIJP
— Tess van Straaten (@tessvanstraaten) June 26, 2023
The extended forecast is currently looking dry for the next two weeks, which means we could finish July with no precipitation at all.