Late summer heat breaks four records

Summer took its sweet time arriving on the south coast of B.C. and won’t be sticking around for much longer.

Students from Vancouver Island University physical education classes form brightly coloured flotillas of kayaks while learning new skills at Westwood Lake Friday. Hot September weather is keeping crowds soaking up the sun at local beaches.

Students from Vancouver Island University physical education classes form brightly coloured flotillas of kayaks while learning new skills at Westwood Lake Friday. Hot September weather is keeping crowds soaking up the sun at local beaches.

Summer took its sweet time arriving on the south coast of B.C. and won’t be sticking around for much longer.

The high pressure ridge baking the province the last couple of weeks is giving way to a system coming off the water, bringing marine cloud, cooler temperatures and a chance of rain by Saturday (Sept. 17).

But it was good while it lasted.

Nanaimo set four temperature records last week, with the mercury hitting 30.6 C on Thursday, breaking the old Sept. 8 record of 29.3 C set in 1989.

Friday’s temperature of 29.6 C broke the 1963 Sept. 9 record of 29.4 C, Saturday topped out at 28.6 C, beating out 28.3 C recorded in 1973 and Sunday’s 29 C was good enough to break the 28.9 C record set in 1975.

David Jones, meteorologist with Environment Canada, said while early September tends to have nice weather, the recent hot spell was extraordinary.

“The temperature has been on the high side for consecutive days for some time,” he said. “It seems extraordinary more so this year because summer really didn’t start until August first. It was late in coming and long in persisting in some ways, but it is going to cool off.”

Marine air off the water is going to knock the temperatures down this week.

“We’re still looking at sunshine, but morning cloud cover will be a problem as the marine air gets thicker,” said Jones. “It looks pretty good with just a weak system until the weekend, but the pattern is changing.”

Jones said despite what some people think, the coast has experienced an average summer.

“It seems like a cooler, cloudier summer because it was so late in getting started,” he said. “April and May were cooler, June was cooler and cloudier, but July was good if you look straight at the numbers.”

Wednesday (Sept. 14) is shaping up to be the best day this week with sunshine and highs of 22 C. The clouds roll in Thursday and Environment Canada is forecasting a 60 per cent chance of showers Saturday with a high of 18 C.