Summer settles over Harbour City

After a dismal April, arguably wretched May and ho-hum June, summer has settled over the Nanaimo area, at least for now.

Autumn Wilson

Autumn Wilson

Somebody finally switched on summer.

After a dismal April, arguably wretched May and ho-hum June, summer has settled over the Nanaimo area, at least for now.

That’s good news for Penny Palen, who purchased Troller Fish and Chips last August. Her outdoor-only, newly renovated restaurant at the Nanaimo Boat Basin relies on sunny weather, which has been less than abundant so far.

“Sunshine has a gigantic effect on our business,” said Palen prior to Tuesday’s lunch rush. “When it’s shining, people love to go outside, walk around and spend some money. It’s a great atmosphere down here when it’s nice out.”

That hasn’t been the case so far, but summer in Nanaimo doesn’t typically start until early July.

In 2010, April, May and June were just as dismal as this year, but things heated up in July with hot temperatures and near-record dryness.

David Jones, meteorologist with Environment Canada, said sometimes perception is worse than fact.

“June wasn’t nearly as bad as April or May, but it’s a cumulative effect. June is a transition month, it can go either way. This year, June was pretty much average for temperature.”

The mean temperature for the month historically is 15.2 C. This year it was 15.1 C, with below average rainfall. Fewer days reaching 20 C and less than average sunshine might have contributed to June’s poor grade.

On average, Nanaimo sees 14 days of at least 20 C weather in June; this year we enjoyed just nine days. There were no days over 25 C.

“A little less sunshine often makes a difference in the perception and we just haven’t busted out into that summertime heat yet,” said Jones.

For Palen, summertime conditions can’t come soon enough.

“On the days it has been nice, it’s been so over the top busy we can hardly keep up,” she said.

She might need to get ready. Environment Canada is calling for temperatures of 24 C and sunny skies this weekend.