Record-breaking May weather turns up the heat in Terrace, B.C.

You weren't imagining it – last month was the warmest May on record

Those snow-capped mountains won't last long – Terrace experienced its warmest May on record last month and the trend is expected to continue.

If you thought last month’s weather was one for the record books, you’d be right.

It turns out that last month was the warmest May on record for Terrace, B.C. with the average temperature of 14.2 degrees coming in well above the typical average of 10.6 degrees.

The average mean temperature also beat the previous record of 13.9 degrees – set exactly 100 years ago in 1915.

“Quite a bit higher than normal and quite a bit drier than normal and that’s something we’ve seen throughout the coast last month,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Andre Besson, who noted that the southern coast of the province broke records for lack of precipitation – as did Prince Rupert.

It was very interesting weather-wise,” he said. “Obviously it’s been warmer than normal … and that’s more so the story for most of the province.”

Terrace only received 17.4 mm of precipitation in May. That’s about 30 per cent of the 56.4 mm the city typically receives, making this past May the ninth driest one on record.

The reason for this, according to Besson, is that there was an upper ridge of high pressure anchored over the eastern Pacific for most of last month which deflected the moisture further north – it essentially moved the jet stream.

The upper ridge of high pressure just influences the whole weather pattern over western Canada,” he said. “A lot of the moisture that would have travelled through the north coast and Yukon moved to Alaska.”

He added that the sea surface temperatures are also well above normal – and that that’s been the trend since last fall.

That’s why every single month we have temperatures that are higher than normal,” he said. “And those waters are not dissipating, so we are expecting that trend to persist throughout the summer.”

While warmer than normal temperatures are expected to continue in B.C., Besson said it is harder to forecast how wet or dry it will be because precipitation is more driven by local events as opposed to a widespread system.

And if you thought Terrace’s weather was abnormal, it wasn’t the biggest anomaly for temperature. That crown goes to the Yukon, where “in mid-May it was warmer in Old Crow (Northern Yukon) than it was in Toronto at 27-27 degrees – 16-17 degrees above normal.”