'Pulse' of subtropical air brings 18 C January weather to British Columbia's coast

A blast of subtropical air from near Hawaii hit Canada's Arctic Sunday, moving across northern B.C. and toward the Prairies.

Whitehorse, Edmonton and Saskatoon also getting unusually warm days

Prince Rupert's Sunken Gardens were 'balmy' Jan. 14 as temperatures rose well above the norm. (Prince Rupert Sunken Gardens)

A "pulse" of warm air from near Hawaii hit Canada's Arctic Sunday, moving across coastal British Columbia and driving temperatures to unseasonable highs.

Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said storms would likely follow as the warmth moved inland toward the Prairie provinces.

"It's interesting to see such an amount of warmth come in on a pulse like this," he said. "It's very unusual." 

The two warmest spots in the country Sunday were Solander Island, west of Vancouver Island and Kindakun Island, off of Haida Gwaii. Environment Canada measured temperatures of 18.3 C in both locations.

Melting snow on a Whitehorse street Sunday. Unseasonably warm weather from the Pacific Ocean hit parts of Northern Canada and the Prairies over the weekend. (CBC)

Near-record highs for Prince Rupert, Whitehorse

Despite being unseasonably warm, only one record was set: Bella Bella on B.C.'s Central Coast reached 13.2 C,  beating the previous record of 13 C  set in 2004.

Whitehorse, Yukon, recorded a high of 6.7, shy of the 2013 record of 9.0 set in 2013.

Prince Rupert, B.C., was the warmest city in western Canada when it hit 12.1 Sunday afternoon, making it the fourth warmest Jan. 14 on record.

Although some thermometers in the city showed temperatures near 20, official numbers are those recorded at Environment Canada's weather station at the airport.

The warmest city in the country was St. John's, N.L., at 13.6, which has experienced several stretches of unusual warmth this winter.

Castellan said B.C.'s coast could expect storms to follow as the warm air pushed inland.

Warm weather headed inland

Meanwhile, cities in the B.C. interior, Alberta and Saskatchewan can expect temperatures to register above zero this week, unusual for this time of year.

"It's only going to be on the weekend that we see temperatures bounce back down to normal," Castellan said.

Temperatures in north-central B.C., Alberta and Saskatoon are expected to rise above zero before returning to normal on the weekend. (Environment Canada)