More sun ahead after record-breaking April heat in B.C.

·3 min read
People are pictured enjoying the sunshine at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Thursday.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
People are pictured enjoying the sunshine at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Thursday. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

British Columbians relishing the sunshine and warm weather over the past week can expect another few days of delight, according to Environment Canada, with more blue skies in the forecast.

The weather agency said the "very high ridge" of pressure over the province is expected to stay in place over the next five to seven days. Inland temperatures in the Lower Mainland could reach up to 23 C over the weekend — well above seasonal averages of 14 C — with equally toasty temperatures elsewhere in B.C.

Temperatures in B.C. Interior cities such as Kamloops, Merritt and Kelowna could reach up to 26 C over the weekend.

"This ridge is pretty well covering the whole province right now. It's essentially blocking any of the moisture air coming in from the Pacific," said meteorologist Gregg Walters.

"Everywhere is above normal for this time of year, as far as temperature is concerned."

People enjoy the waterfront in downtown Kelowna Thursday. Temperatures in the city could hit 24 C this weekend.
People enjoy the waterfront in downtown Kelowna Thursday. Temperatures in the city could hit 24 C this weekend.(Winston Szeto/CBC)

Temperature records set

A number of temperature records were shattered across B.C. on Thursday, including one that hadn't been broken in 95 years. Pemberton hit 26.4 C, breaking the record of 25 C set in 1926.

The Powell River area reached 21.2 C, edging past the old record of 20 C from 1947. Squamish was a hot spot at 27 C.

Sunscreen would be a good idea over the next few days, Walters said.

"The UV index is getting up," he said.

"The sun angle is about the same as it is at the end of August, so it's like summertime intensity for sunlight."

A cyclist is pictured along the seawall in Vancouver on Monday.
A cyclist is pictured along the seawall in Vancouver on Monday.(Ben Nelms/CBC)

Public health restrictions remain in place, even for those heading outside. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday that outdoor gatherings with people outside of one's own household are discouraged — though outdoor gatherings with up to 10 people are currently allowed under B.C.'s health restrictions.

"Even if we can see people outside of our household, we shouldn't. Outside is lower risk, it's not zero, but it's lower risk," she said.

"If you're going to be in close contact, wear a mask, even if it is outside."

Fire risk

Fire dangers will also be higher, since April has been unusually dry.

A brush fire broke out Thursday off Highway 1 in Chilliwack and quickly burned through bone-dry grass.

A brush fire in Chilliwack, B.C., on Thursday burned quickly through dry grass after weeks of sunny weather across the province.
A brush fire in Chilliwack, B.C., on Thursday burned quickly through dry grass after weeks of sunny weather across the province.(Shane Mackichan)

The B.C. Wildfire Service told CBC fire fuel in Cariboo, Kamloops, Prince George and coastal areas have been incredibly dry and outflow winds could fan the flames.

"Under conditions of low humidity and little precipitation, it will not take long for the grass to dry out and become flammable, especially in windy conditions," read a tweet from the service.