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‘Mini-warming’ part of a hot, dry summer and fall in Nanaimo

Summer-like conditions keeping rain at bay into October
Luisa Weiskopf, visiting from Germany, takes advantage of a warm afternoon to sit in the sun and enjoy a book at Westwood Lake Park on Thursday, Sept. 29. Nanaimo experienced one of the hottest summers on record and Environment Canada expects the fine weather to continue well into October. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)

Nanaimo recently broke some temperature records during a summer and fall that are shaping up as some of the hottest and driest on the books.

On Sunday and Monday, Sept. 25-26, Nanaimo experienced what Environment Canada calls a mini-warming that actually broke an all-time-high temperature record.

Derek Lee, Environment Canada meteorologist, said Nanaimo broke a record Sept. 26 with a high of 26.6 C and the previous record from 1976 was 25.6 C.

As of Thursday, Sept. 29, Lee said September in Nanaimo was shaping up to be about 2 C warmer than average.

“I think the heat for this month has definitely been felt most for the central and southern parts of the province, so it’s not to anyone’s surprise that Vancouver Island did, in fact, see more sunny days and warmer temperatures this month,” he said.

Environment Canada meteorologists consider the meteorological summer as June 1 to Sept. 1 and the meteorological fall as Sept. 1 to Dec. 1, Lee explained, and summer 2022 was one of the warmest since temperatures and precipitation data started being recorded in 1892. But the summer started out wet through June and into July when precipitation dropped off and temperatures started to rise.

“Definitely, as we moved into July, our precipitation rate dropped and then our heat actually started then,” Lee said. “Even into August, we were seeing lots of heat warnings for the Vancouver Island area … we are looking at this whole summer to be the sixth warmest for the Nanaimo area and then, if we just look at August by itself, it was the warmest August on record for the Nanaimo area.”

Lee also said that, although the summer had normal precipitation levels overall, August also turned out to be the third- driest August on record.

Through September, rain that would normally fall in the southern part of the province has been diverted north by a high pressure region over the south of the province.

“Our outlook for fall, as we go into October, it’s looking like above-average temperatures will still continue … so, at least for the beginning of October we are still seeing above-average temperatures and that usually means that we’re getting the high-pressure system staying in place, meaning that precipitation will be elsewhere,” Lee said.

He said it likely won’t be until mid October when temperatures will normalize for the season as storms from the Pacific Ocean move into the B.C. coast.

READ ALSO: City of Nanaimo helps to offer shelter from the swelter

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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