Rain in front of us, not so much behind us

June is often the rainiest month in the East Kootenay and it looks to be starting off in exactly that way.

Environment Canada says it will be a hot June following the dry May. This week's rain will slow by the end of this week.

Environment Canada says it will be a hot June following the dry May. This week's rain will slow by the end of this week.

June is often the rainiest month in the East Kootenay and it looks to be starting off in exactly that way.

Doug Lindquist, Environment Canada Meteorologist, said the weather pattern is coming up from the south.

“The flow comes from the other direction, the opposite direction (of usual), that’s why we call it the June monsoon,” Lindquist said. “Today I had to look at the satellite picture coming from Montana to figure out what is going to happen in Kelowna.”

He said that May was one degree above average. The temperature over May averaged 12.3 degrees Celsius, with the average for the month being 11.3.

“So that was a good amount over average,” he said.

On the precipitation side of things, it was a dry month with only 19 mm of precipitation — far below the usual 46 mm.

“So quite dry, but as usual we expect the monsoon rains to start as early as the middle of May,” he said. “Sure enough around May 25, 26 you started to pick up rain more frequently.”

Lindquist said there were no records set. The high median temperature was 19.9 degrees, and it is usually 17.9 degrees.

“So it was two degrees above average for the high,” he said.

Lindquist said there is an El Niño pattern, but it doesn’t mean much for us in B.C. in the summer. However, the sea surface temperature is west of the BC coast is warmer than usual.

“It is as high as three to five degrees above average, from the Gulf of Alaska down to off the Oregon Coast,” he said. “That means that just based on that there’s a high probability that our summer will be above average because our water temperature has such an effect on British Columbia.”

Lindquist said Cranbrook has an 80 per cent chance of having a warmer than average summer.

“So there’s a very high likelihood that summer will be warmer than average,” he said. “For precipitation, beyond a week we can’t really say much. It’s not forecastable.”

He said the rain will begin to dry up by the end of the week and by Friday a strong ridge of high pressure will be upon us. He said he wouldn’t be surprised to see temperatures into the 30s this weekend, or into next week.

“The average high for this year is 22 and the average low is 6, so we’re going to be way above average,” he said, noting the rain then sunshine bodes well for plants.