Seniors playfully squirt water guns given to them Wednesday to keep cool at Crofton Manor in Vancouver. (CBC)

Wednesday was the hottest day ever recorded in Vancouver, according to CBC meteorologist Claire Martin.

At 5 p.m. PT, Environment Canada recorded a high of 33.8 C, breaking the previous record of 33.3 C set in 1960.

Martin said anyone hoping the heat wave blanketing B.C. will be breaking anytime soon might just have to find some other way to chill out.

"It's a very stable weather pattern — and very pronounced. It's not moving anywhere fast," Martin said Wednesday.

Temperatures have been soaring across the province all week, hitting the low 40s (in degrees Celsius) in hot spots such as Lytton in the Fraser Canyon, setting records and driving thousands to lakes, pools and beaches.

The massive high-pressure ridge currently sitting across most of the province extends unusually high up into the atmosphere, Martin said.

'Like shoving an elephant'

That means the weak frontal systems that normally spin in from the open Pacific Ocean onto the West Coast during the summer are now being deflected far up to Alaska and Canada's north.

"It's so broad, so big, it's almost like shoving an elephant out of the way," said Martin.

Just when the elephantine heat wave will move on is impossible to predict, she said.

That's because it will likely require a series of frontal systems to gradually break down the high-pressure ridge starting in the upper atmosphere, and there are no such systems strong enough to do that in the forecast.

Any long-term weather forecasts that show the temperature dropping in four days, even those from Environment Canada, are somewhat misleading, said Martin.

"The models keep saying it's coming to an end in four days. There may be a slight reprieve through the weekend, but after that, it will likely to heat up again," she said.

The problem with long-term forecasts is that they are based on statistical models that assume the temperature will return to the season average after four days. But under this massive high-pressure ridge, there's nothing pointing to that happening anytime soon, she said.