British Columbia

B.C. heat wave sets 15 temperature records Thursday; more set to fall

A strong ridge of high pressure is responsible for the unseasonable heat, according to Environment Canada.

Strong ridge of high pressure responsible for unseasonable heat, according to Environment Canada

It's still spring but the extraordinarily warm weather in B.C. makes it feel like the middle of summer. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Fifteen temperature records were broken in British Columbia on Thursday and several more could fall Friday as a heat wave settles across the province.

Environment Canada says a strong ridge of high pressure is responsible for the unseasonable heat.

The mercury hit 29.5 C in Squamish, breaking the old record of 26.1 C set 51 years ago, while a 141-year-old record toppled in Pitt Meadows as the Vancouver suburb reached 28 C, edging the old mark of 27.8 C set in 1878.

The weather office predicts the Fraser Canyon community of Lytton will reach 32 C Friday, while a high of 28 C is forecast in the North Coast city of Terrace, and the southeastern B.C. town of Creston is forecast to reach 30 C by Sunday.

Environment Canada's longer range forecasts show conditions are expected to moderate and much-needed, more seasonable showers could reach the South Coast by next week.

Moisture in May and June protects B.C.'s woodlands during the dry summer months, but concern is growing because snowpacks are below average, spring rains have been scant and the wildfire danger is already moderate to high in many areas.

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