British Columbia

Smoke on B.C.'s South Coast to persist for at least 5 more days, but change could be coming

Wildfire smoke is expected to persist for the next five days but long-range models are showing a small possibility of cooler temperatures and rain starting next weekend.

Long-range models show small possibility of cooler temperatures and rain starting next weekend

A boat travels out of Burrard Inlet as smoke from wildfires across the province fills the air in Vancouver. (Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

An ocean breeze felt across Metro Vancouver Sunday had locals hopeful the smoky skies overhead might soon clear.

But according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe, the small change in the weather pattern was only temporary and not nearly strong enough to disrupt the high-pressure ridge parked over the South Coast.

Wagstaffe says the ridge will keep the smoke, from numerous wildfires across the province, in place for at least another five days.

People are seen taking in the view from Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, B.C. as a thick smoky haze blankets West Vancouver in the background. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

"While low winds and low chance of lightning are the silver lining for the fire regions, the stagnant conditions will ensure wildfire smoke will be an ongoing problem over the southern half of the province," said Wagstaffe.

"Air quality is fluctuating quite dramatically across Metro Vancouver. The worst areas are closer to Burrard Inlet."

The stagnant system means little change for places in the province suffering from the worst air quality readings for weeks already, like Kamloops and Williams Lake.

Temperatures  are expected to be similar to last week, reaching the high 20s and low 30s in Metro Vancouver and mid-30s in the Interior. 

According to Wagstaffe, some weather models indicate smoke relief, cooler temperatures and possibly rain may be on the horizon as early as next Saturday if a low-pressure ridge in Alaska is able to force its way south.

"Long-range outlooks are still pointing towards this being the start of an overall pattern change for the second half of August, which could allow more low-pressure systems to bring rain in," she said.