Two people walk along the Union Bay breakwater on March 18th, 2019. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – With spring officially underway, residents of B.C.’s south coast and Vancouver Island are enjoying a sampling of summer this week.
Northeast Vancouver Island is experiencing record or near-record warmth, with a strong ridge of high pressure hugging the region.
In the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Powell River, and Port Hardy, the mercury has climbed between four and five degrees above average for this time of the year.
Powell River and Port Hardy saw new high temperature marks set on Tuesday, with both seeing highs of 18.2 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, it was a record-breaking start to the work week in several communities around the province.
All told, 42 heat records fell across B.C. on Tuesday while 26 records were broken on Monday.
And there is the potential of even more falling by the wayside today.
Tofino was Canada’s hot spot on Tuesday, with the seaside town hitting 24.5 degrees, shattering the previous record set in 1928.
Environment Canada meteorologist Carmen Hartt said a persistent ridge of high pressure that has dominated much of B.C. this week has mixed in with milder air to create summer-like conditions.
The system is expected to weaken, with showers arriving Friday and continuing into Saturday before the sunshine returns on Sunday.
“By the weekend, we’re in the low teens but that’s actually normal for this time of year,” Hartt said.
According to Hartt, the long range forecast also calls for temperatures that are warmer than usual.
“All of our guidance is showing a mild trend,” she said. “That means temperatures (that will be) above normal, and normal for April is usually in the low-to-mid teens for the northern half of Vancouver Island anyway, so it looks like we’ll be on the warm side of that, so we could be a couple degrees above that, overall, for all of the spring.”
Hartt said there is a “pretty good confidence” that island residents will be in for a mild spring and warm summer.
This means that there will be a slim chance the region will be seeing any more snow, which is a huge swing from February, which was one of the coldest on record in many parts of B.C., including northeast Vancouver Island.
Last month, the average temperatures dipped four degrees below normal during the month, as a polar vortex sat down on the region and wouldn’t leave.
The Comox Valley shivered through the fifth coldest February on record.