British Columbia

Surging temperatures break 18 heat records in southern B.C.

British Columbians who woke up this morning wiping sweat from their brow, wondering if it was warmer than usual for June, take comfort: it likely was, depending on where you live.

101-year-old record falls in Princeton, which hit 33 C on Wednesday

A woman lies in the sun at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver as temperatures soared in the city and across B.C. on Wednesday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

British Columbians who woke up this morning wiping sweat from their brow, wondering if it was warmer than usual for June, take comfort: it likely was, depending on where you live.

More than a dozen daily heat records tumbled as temperatures surged across the southern half of the province Wednesday. Preliminary numbers from Environment Canada show that the eastern Fraser Valley and the Interior were particularly scorching, with temperatures cracking 30 C.

Princeton hit 33 C, topping a record set 101 years ago. Lytton was the hottest place in the province, reaching 36.2 C.

The new records are as follows:

  • Abbotsford area — 31.9 C (Previous record: 28.5 C)
  • Agassiz area — 33 C (Previous record: 31.1 C)
  • Campbell River area — 30 C (Previous record: 28.7 C)
  • Chilliwack area — 33 C (Previous record: 32.2 C)
  • Gonzales Point area — 30 C (Previous record: 28.8 C)
  • Hope area — 32.5 C (Previous record: 28.4 C)
  • Lytton — 36.2 C (Previous record: 36 C)
  • Malahat area — 29.2 C (Previous record: 26.6 C)
  • Merritt area  32 C, tying previous record
  • Nanaimo area — 32 C (Previous record: 30.6 C) 
  • Pitt Meadows area — 31.7 C (Previous record: 31.1 C) 
  • Powell River area — 29 C (Previous record: 28.3 C) 
  • Princeton area — 33 C (Previous record: 32.8 C)
  • Squamish area — 31.4 C (Previous record: 27 C)
  • Tofino area — 27 C (Previous record: 26.7 C)
  • Vancouver area — 29 C (Previous record: 27.4 C)
  • Victoria area — 29.6 C (Previous record: 28.9 C) 
  • White Rock area — 30.9 C (Previous record: 29.4 C)

Environment Canada meteorologist Louis Kohyani said a stubborn high-pressure weather system is to thank for the unseasonal heat. 

"The ridge remained over the area yesterday, allowing the temperature to rise to record-breaking temperatures," said Kohyani, speaking over the phone Thursday morning.

Parks and beaches in Vancouver filled quickly Wednesday, with temperatures in the area creeping close to 30 C. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Southern B.C. is sizzling through several warmer-than-usual spring days this week. Environment Canada said Wednesday was expected to be the hottest of the bunch. Temperatures are expected to be slightly cooler Thursday.

Fire crews in B.C. pay close attention to weather in the month of June, as it can be largely indicative of how severe the looming wildfire season may be.

Drought concerns have already forced water restrictions on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, as well as a Level 3 drought rating for the Fort Nelson area in northern B.C.

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