Unseasonably warm temperatures have broken records on Vancouver Island this week, as a wet and warm system soaks B.C.’s coast.
According to Environment Canada, four temperature records were broken or tied on the Island on Monday, and another four were broken on Tuesday.
The records fell while a special weather statement was posted for all of Vancouver Island, except for Greater Victoria.
The special weather statement was first put in place on Saturday, and remains in effect Wednesday. It warns of potential flooding, water pooling on roads and landslides as warm air mixes with heavy rainfall.
“A series of storms is bringing periods of heavy rain to coastal B.C.,” reads the special weather statement. “The warm airmass is producing temperatures 5 to 10 degrees Celsius above seasonal.”
Record-breaking temps on Monday
On Monday, Comox saw its warmest Jan. 29 on record with a high of 13.3°C.
Meanwhile, Nanaimo set a new record of 16.0°C, surpassing its old record of 14.6°C set in 1995.
Victoria also tied its record high with temperatures reaching 13.1°C on Monday, tying its previous record set in 1995.
A tie was also recorded in Campbell River on Monday, where temperatures reached 12.8°C, a high not seen since 1976.
More records fall Tuesday
On Tuesday, more daily maximum temperature records were broken at four weather stations on Vancouver Island, while new high minimum temperatures were set at three other stations.
In the Esquimalt and Gonzales Point weather stations, temperatures reached 15.4°C on Tuesday, beating the previous daily records of 15.1°C set at both stations on Jan. 30, 1995.
Meanwhile, the Victoria International Airport weather station saw a new daily high of 14.1°C on Tuesday, narrowly surpassing the previous record of 14.0°C set in 1995.
A nearly 100-year-old daily high was also beaten at the Estevan Point weather station on the central west coast of Vancouver Island on Tuesday, when the mercury reached 14.0°C, beating the previous record of 13.9°C set in 1931.
New ‘minimum’ temperature records
Three weather stations on Vancouver Island also set a new minimum temperature record on Tuesday, meaning the mercury stayed above a certain temperature for the 24-hour period.
Sometimes minimum temperatures are described as nighttime lows because typically the coldest part of a 24-hour day is during the overnight period.
In the Duncan Area, a new minimum temperature of 9.8°C was set on Tuesday, beating the old record of 8.5°C set in 1992.
The Malahat also broke its record with a new minimum temperature of 8.9°C, surpassing the old daily record of 8.1°C set in 1986.
At the Victoria Gonzales weather station, temperatures never fell below 10.1°C on Jan. 30, beating the old record of 8.9°C set all the way back in 1877.
The warm temperatures coupled with heavy rainfall for most of the Island have raised flooding concerns for residents, and even closed ski runs on Mount Washington.
The warm temperatures are melting snow on the mountain, with one skier telling CHEK News that the resort had lost 10 centimetres of snowpack per day over the weekend.
Flood watches remain in effect for all of Vancouver Island on Wednesday, according to the BC River Forecast Centre.
— Dean Stoltz (@deanstoltzchek) January 31, 2024
With files from CHEK’s Sky Ryan