A group of boys beat the heat at Elk Lake, near Hamsterly Beach. (Black Press Media file photo)

Heat starts to recede in Vancouver Island’s historic heat wave

Victoria cooling in today's forecast, more seasonal temperatures north of the Malahat tomorrow

  • Jun. 29, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Forty-five daily temperature records were broken Monday across B.C. and — as you might have noticed — Vancouver Island was not left out in the cold.

Port Alberni solidified its record as the hottest place on Vancouver Island with a whopping 42.7 C, breaking its all-time record of 41.7 C, which was set on July 10, 1926, leading a parade of smashed heat records for Island communities.

In the Capital Region, the hottest temperature recorded was on the Malahat, with a high of 41.3 C smashing the 1995 record of 32.4 C, according to Government of Canada weather stations.

South of the Malahat, the Gonzales station recorded 39.8 C, beating the 30.5-degree record set in 1995. While no previous record was available, the Victoria International Airport was not far behind at 39.4 C, followed by the University of Victoria, which registered 37.8 C, seven degrees hotter than its 30.8 C record set in 1995.

Registering 32.8, the Race Rocks Lightstation broke its 2015 record of 25.1 C, and at 30.7 C, Esquimalt Harbour also broke its 2015 record of 27.1 C.

Environment Canada’s Duncan weather station recorded a temperature of a whopping 39.2 C on Sunday, which obliterated the previous heat record of 33.1 for the region that was set in 2015.

Also on Sunday, the mercury reached 38.0 C at the Comox Valley weather station, a temperature never reached since recording began in April 1914 at the station.

Nanaimo hit 38.2 C on Sunday, which easily surpassed the previous record of 34.6 C from 2015. Of note, the average high for that date is 21.8 C.

Lake Cowichan doesn’t have an official weather station but Mayor Bob Day said it was reported to him that the temperatures in the community had reached 43 C on Sunday.

READ MORE: Port Alberni smashes all-time heat record

A small village in the B.C. Interior earned another dubious honour Monday. At a steaming 47.9 C, Lytton once again broke records for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada, breaking its own record of 46.6 C just set on Sunday. However, it wasn’t quite the hottest place in North America. The aptly named Death Valley, Calif., hit 52.2 C on Monday according to the U.S. National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Centre.

Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the temperatures are expected to gradually decrease to the mid to high 20s north of the Malahat starting Wednesday into Thursday.

“It’s not forecast to cool right off, but it will be less hot than on the weekend,” she said.

Victoria is emerging more quickly. Tuesday forecast looks nothing like Death Valley’s. Environment Canada is forecasting a high of 29 C with a low of 17 C overnight. Temperatures are expected to start dropping, with a high of 28 C in the forecast for Wednesday, followed by 24 C on Thursday and 25 C Friday through Monday, with the exception of 27 C on Sunday.

READ MORE: Lytton, B.C., breaks all-time Canadian max temperature records yet again with 47.9 C

The heat wave forced businesses, including popular tourist destination Butchart Gardens, and construction sites across Greater Victoria to close over the weekend and into Tuesday as employers looked to protect their employees from the extreme temperatures.

Island Health also rescheduled a number of vaccine appointments as temperatures soared and clinics without air conditioning deemed it unsafe to open.

ALSO READ: Vancouver Island smacked hard with record-breaking heat hammer

As for the long-rage forecast for the summer, Lang said that’s the million-dollar question as Environment Canada’s forecasts only predict for 10 days into the future.

“But, overall, it is supposed to be drier and warmer than average this summer, although that doesn’t mean we won’t get some rain,” she said.

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— with files from Black Press

READ MORE: Gas leak response breaks eerie, heat-related quiet in Sidney


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Nanaimo News Bulletin