Nanaimo Harbour’s Entrance Island was the warmest place in Canada on New Year’s Day

Nanaimo set a record for warmest Jan. 1 temperature at 13.4 C

Nanaimo awoke to a new year and a new decade with a beautiful, sunny day that shattered high temperature records.

New Year’s Day, the city tallied an all-time record high temperature of 13.4 Celsius, the highest recorded temperature for Jan. 1 in Nanaimo since temperature records have been kept.

“Pretty impressive because records in Nanaimo go all the way back to 1892, so that was the warmest start to the new year in 128 years,” said Matt MacDonald, Environment Canada meteorologist. “There were 12 record high temperatures set across the province yesterday. Other areas were sharing in the warmth, as well, but a lot of them were confined to the Vancouver Island area.”

Nanaimo’s previous high New Year’s Day temperature was 12.8 C that held since it was set in 1951.

But Entrance Island, located at the outer edge of Nanaimo Harbour, is where the mercury pushed higher than anywhere else in Canada with a temperature of 14.1 C.

“Fourteen point one in January. That’s incredible … our normals for this time of year are five degrees, so at 13 we were eight degrees warmer than normal yesterday,” MacDonald said.

While Nanaimoites basked in the warmth and stripped off their winter jackets while hiking through this city’s parks trails, residents in Eureka, Nunavut, likely hunkered down indoors. The small research base on Ellesmere Island chipped its way down to Canada’s lowest recorded temperature for the day at -48.2 C.

RELATED: B.C.’s south coast should prepare for power outage ahead of storm, says B.C. Hydro

Weather for the coming days in Nanaimo will be wet and windy, thanks to an incoming storm from the Pacific Ocean that will be followed by several weaker storm systems, MacDonald said.

“So, with this incoming storm, it’s quite a juicy one,” he said.

MacDonald said storm has prompted rainfall warnings for the west and north Island where communities such as Zeballos and Tahsis could see upwards of 150 to 180 millimetres of rain.

Nanaimo will likely get about 20mm of rain with winds of up to 50 kilometres per hour through today, Jan. 2. and into Friday, but the gloomy weather should break up a bit as the storm passes.

“I think Saturday should be a relatively pleasant day actually and mostly dry,” MacDonald said. “It’s not all doom and gloom.”

RELATED: Storm set to sweep rain, wind over Vancouver Island
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