British Columbia

Weekend heat wave ahead for Vancouver

A big shift in the weather pattern for Metro Vancouver Saturday and Sunday bringing blue skies and hot temperatures.

Get ready for sunshine and temperatures hitting 30 C

Blue skies and hot sunshine are in the cards for the weekend across the southern half of the province. (Johanna Wagstaffe/CBC)

Get the fans ready because you may need them this weekend if you live in the Vancouver area.

Parts of Metro Vancouver have the potential to see 30 C temperatures with lots of sunshine both Saturday and Sunday 

That's much hotter than the highest temperature recorded so far this year — 24.5 C — May 2 at the Vancouver airport weather station. 

It's unlikely the historical highs at the airiport will be beaten this weekend however. June 4, 2009 the thermometre registered a record high of 25.8 C. The record for June 5 — 26.1 C — was set way back in 1958.  

But records will likely fall for places like Nanaimo, Victoria, Squamish, West Vancouver, Vancouver Harbour and Abbotsford — just to name a few. 

A snapshot of what our local forecast model is predicting for Sunday afternoon temperatures. Many daily high temperature records will likely fall. (Johanna Wagstaffe/CBC)

If you are planning on hanging out at the beach, it will feel a good 5 to 7 degrees cooler, especially with gusty winds Saturday morning. 

Temperatures will dip back into the mid 20s on Monday, but we get to keep the sunshine for at least a few days early next week.

What's behind the heat?

A ridge of high pressure is developing over Southern B.C. on Friday. The sinking air associated with the system will keep skies clear, and the clockwise rotation around the centre of the high will usher in a warm air mass from the south.

Anytime Vancouver gets a few consecutive days of hot weather like this a ridge of high pressure is often responsible.

Drought concerns

A cool and unsettled second half to May has significantly improved fire danger ratings and reservoir levels for parts of the province.

In fact, with a couple of days of heavy rain in Vancouver, the city's reservoir levels are actually above normal right now.

The red line indicates Vancouver's reservoir levels as of May 29th, 2016. Two days of heavy rain in the last week of the month significantly improved water levels and we are now above the normal range for this time of the year as indicated by the blue shaded area. You can also see how low we were last year by the solid blue line. A below normal June for rainfall could easily get us back down there. (Metro Vancouver)

Parts of Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands though did not receive the same rain and are now at level 3 drought (on the 1-4 scale). 

After this week, it would be good to get some rain again — it doesn't take much for water levels to begin to drop in the crucial month of June. 


Johanna Wagstaffe

Senior Meteorologist

Johanna Wagstaffe is a senior meteorologist for CBC, covering weather and science stories, with a background in seismology and earth science. Her weekly segment, Science Smart, answers viewers' science-related questions.