Slather on that sunscreen Nanaimo – sweltering temperatures are expected to stick around this week.
Environment Canada reports the heat wave will continue this week, with temperatures reaching a high of 32 C today. By the weekend, the mercury will cool to 25 C, but the dry weather remains a concern for the B.C. Coastal Fire Centre which is urging people to take precautions to prevent forest fires and report any sightings of smoke.
Nanaimo has seen less rain and higher temperatures since the beginning of May and is expected to see above-normal temperatures into September, according to David Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist. Between May 1 and July 6, there were 60 millimetres of precipitation compared to 132 mm over the same time last year. There were also 23 days of rain compared to the normal 30.
“You have to be pinching yourself. This is almost Shangri-La. Its quite spectacular,” Phillips said, adding it would be hard not to give the summer a ‘perfect 10’ rating thanks to the balance of heat and rain and lack of severe weather. “There’s not the violent and life-threatening weather you are seeing in other parts of the country with lightning strikes and with hail and with tornadoes and hurricanes … this is about as good as you get.”
Nanaimo’s streak of hot weather has boosted the fire rating to high for the region. The B.C. Coastal Fire Centre has not issued campfire restrictions but is asking people to be careful with any forest activities, such as avoiding use of all terrain vehicles on grass.
“Up until now I would say we’ve got less [forest] fires than we’ve had over a 10-year average and that’s mostly because we had that spring where not only did we have a fair amount of precipitation but it was nicely spaced. That moisture is pretty much gone now,” MacPherson said.
To report forest fires call 1-800-663-5555 (or *5555 on cell phones).