Record breaking heat has Islanders heading outdoors despite COVID-19

Record breaking heat has Islanders heading outdoors despite COVID-19

The weather is turning out to be unseasonably warm this weekend.

Heat records were broken in several communities including Victoria, Port Hardy and Duncan yesterday.

Port Hardy reached 22.4 C, Duncan hit 25.5 C and Victoria International Airport recorded a high of 23.9 C on Friday, May 8.

Across the south coast, temperatures are close to 10 degrees above normal for this time of year.

Temperatures in some communities poised to break records today.

“It’s not a certainty that we’ll have a new record but we’ll be close to it and there’s many other locations across Vancouver island also where we’re forecasting within one degree of the daily record,” said Philippe-Alain Bergeron, an Environment Canada meteorologist.

Even though there are six weeks left of Spring, the warm weather has drawn many people out from their homes.

People flocked to Westwood Lake in Nanaimo Saturday to enjoy summer-like weather.

“It’s nice to be out in the sun,” said Billy Buhler, who was visiting from Parksville.

“Everyone’s been stuck inside for a couple weeks so it’s nice to be out. It’s healthy to be out. Get some vitamin D.”

Willows Beach in Oak Bay saw large crowds Saturday as did Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver Friday night.

But as the warm weather brings people outside, it has heightened concerns about how close everyone is.

“It does make you a little bit concerned about social distancing and stuff like that especially with the nice weather. Everyone wants to get out and enjoy it but hopefully, everyone remembers to keep their distance,” said Isabel Moreau, a Nanaimo resident.

In her briefing on Saturday. B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said even with nice weather and the desire to go outside, it’s important that people still keep some distance.

“We need to remind people that we’re not yet safe from this virus and that we’re going to have to do things that are different to protect all of us and protect the people we care for the most,” said Dr. Henry during her provincial briefing.

Henry said most people have done the right thing and that many people are in groups and distancing themselves.

“I think what we see is a visible minority of people,” she said.

Environment Canada says this heatwave is expected to last until Monday.


Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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