WATCH: A warm section of water off B.C.’s coast dubbed the “the blob” has made its return. Ceilidh Millar reports.
Sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures have had Islanders heading out in droves to enjoy a resurgence of summer-like weather across the province.
“I’m from Quebec and it’s -3 C today,” said one person enjoying the weather at Cordova Bay. “I’m very pleased to be here.”
“We dress in the morning with toques and sweaters and then by this time of day we’re stripping down because it’s so warm,” explained another woman.
However, the unseasonable conditions this month could be linked to something that isn’t as bright.
Scientists say this weather could be causing an anomaly in the Pacific Ocean which has been coined “the blob,” a 2,000 kilometre-wide patch of water in the north-east that’s at least two degrees warmer than the surrounding ocean.
“What’s been referred to as ‘the blob’ shows up when we plot the temperature anomaly of the sea surface,” said associate director Richard Dewey of Ocean Networks Canada.
Dewey says this type of phenomenon appeared in 2013 and has been linked to warm weather on land, as well as poor feeding conditions for salmon and birds.
A lack of wind and precipitation caused by a strong ridge of high pressure over the province means the warm surface water is unable to mix with deeper, cooler water.
“The north-east Pacific was in some sense anemic in that year because it just didn’t have the nutrients to feed the whole food chain,” Dewey explained.
While many are out enjoying the sunshine, it has caused drought-like conditions in other parts of the province, but local meteorologists say some much-needed relief could be on the way.
“You need quite a bit of an active storm cycle over the area before we can start to see the pattern change,” said meteorologist Armel Castellan with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Castellan says the long-term forecast is hinting that the fall storm season might not be far off, but it will be a waiting game to see if will be strong enough to dissipate “the blob.”