Forget those fall sweaters. October is off to a hotter-than-usual start on Vancouver Island, with above-average summer-like temperatures sticking around all week.
Temperatures this past weekend broke records across British Columbia, including in Victoria (Gonzales), where Sunday’s 25.3 degrees Celsius became the hottest Oct. 2 the city has seen since 1935.
“This weekend, we did set multiple new daily max temperatures across B.C., including parts of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island,” Alyssa Charbonneau, Environment Canada meteorologist, told CHEK News Monday.
“On Saturday, we had nine records that were preliminary records set that day. And then yesterday, again, a whole bunch of records were set.”
Along with B.C.’s capital, other Island municipalities that saw new highs on Sunday included both Courtenay and Comox, where the thermometer hit 22.7 degrees and beat the record of 22.2 set in 1952.
“We (saw) temperatures that were climbing into the mid-20s. That was a new record for this day for many places, including Victoria, the Sunshine Coast, the Fraser Valley and even into the interior of B.C.,” Charbonneau said.
Port Alberni, meanwhile, was even hotter on Sunday as temperatures hit 29.3 degrees — more than two degrees hotter than the record of 27 set in 1993.
Elsewhere in the province, Ashcroft hit 27.5 degrees, breaking a nearly 30-year record, while Lytton and Pitt Meadows also broke records, reaching 28.1 and 27.5 degrees respectively.
Above-average temperatures to stick around
There’s no relief in near sight for the Victoria area, according to Charbonneau. She says locally, October follows not just the warmest, but the driest September the area has seen since 1941.
“We are looking at slightly cooler temperatures, a little bit more moderate,” said Charbonneau, looking at this week’s forecast.
“But still, temperatures above normal right through the week into next week. We’re forecasting daily highs of around 20 degrees, even 22, 23 again by next weekend,” she said.
“Still quite a bit warmer than normal for this time of year, and again staying mainly sunny and dry right through the week.”
Charbonneau says a ridge of high pressure, which she describes as “very strong,” is to blame for the warmer conditions. Usually this time of year, average temperatures are “quite a bit lower,” she explains.
“This ridge of high pressure has been very persistent with us through September and into the beginning of October now,” Charbonneau added.
“So, if people feel like this has been going on for a while and things are warmer and it’s abnormally warm and dry, that’s right. It has been.”