Victoria breaks 55-year-old weather record as temperatures plummet

Victoria breaks 55-year-old weather record as temperatures plummet
The Malahat highway is pictured on Jan. 12, 2024.

A frigid night and even chillier morning have set new daily temperature records for three communities on Southern Vancouver Island.

On Friday morning, new records were set in Victoria and North Cowichan, where temperatures plunged to the negative double digits.

At the Victoria International Airport, temperatures dipped to -11°C around 8 a.m., beating the previous daily record of -9.4°C set in 1963, according to Environment Canada.

The Gonzales weather station in Victoria also dipped down to -11.5°C on Friday morning, the coldest temperature recorded at the station in the past 55 years.

Meanwhile, the temperature in North Cowichan also dropped down to -11°C around 7 a.m. Friday, surpassing the previous record of -10.2°C set in the community in 2017.

SEE ALSO: Cold temperatures, snow continue Friday for parts of Vancouver Island

One day earlier, on Thursday evening, the Malahat saw record-breaking temperatures.

According to Environment Canada, the mercury dropped to -9.1°C, surpassing the previous record of -7.8°C set in 1998.

No new records were set in Nanaimo, but temperatures on Friday morning neared the record level.

By 6 a.m. in the Harbour City, temperatures were -10°C, just shy of the current record of -10.3°C set in 1998.

Weekend forecast

Frigid temperatures continue to grip Vancouver Island on Friday, with several communities still under “arctic outflow” advisories, including Greater Victoria, North Vancouver Island, Courtenay to Campbell River and the Southern Gulf Islands.

Arctic outflow advisories are only issued when wind chill is expected to make temperatures feel like -20°C.

Meanwhile a special weather statement related to snowfall is in effect for East Vancouver Island from Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay.

No schools were cancelled on Friday, but residents are being warned to drive carefully and dress warmly.

Environment Canada warns that “frostbite and hypothermia can occur within minutes if adequate precautions are not taken when outdoors.”

“If outside, dress warmly in layers and stay dry. Cover as much exposed skin as possible to avoid frostbite.”


With files from CHEK’s Laura Brougham.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the Gonzales weather station had only been open for 55 years. In fact, it has been operating for more than a century.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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