Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECC) has discovered significantly fewer cases of extreme weather last month when compared to previous years in the province. 

The average lightning strike count in Saskatchewan for May was over 4,000 instances higher than this year. When compared to the past few years in precipitation, however, there seems to be a discrepancy. 

ECC Meteorologist Terri Lang shed light on the May statistical recap. 

“Just over 18,000 strikes in Saskatchewan for the month of May and that was below the average,” explained Lang. “We usually see about 22,650 strikes, so that’s about 83% of the lightning that we usually get.” 

Despite the increase in rainstorms province wide, lightning and precipitation don’t necessarily go hand in hand.  

“We get a tremendous amount of moisture when the crops start growing; it's called evapotranspiration, giving off a tremendous amount of moisture into the atmosphere, which is used for storms to form,” said Lang. “In the past couple summers, it's been so dry. We haven't had great crops here, so a lot of the moisture hasn't been released.” 

Lang went on to explain that the usual thunderstorm season runs from April through September, with July being the peak time for lightning strikes and the issues that come from them.