Parksville Qualicum Beach set record highs this week, peaking at 32 C Monday, topping the previous record of 30 C set on that date in 1996.
Sunday, July 13 also broke a 1996 record of 31 C, boasting a high of 31.5 C.
Environment Canada meteorologist Allan Coldwells said Parksville Qualicum Beach was one of 15 communities in the province to set records for temperatures last week.
“(These temperatures) are unusual but not unheard of,” said Coldwells.
Coldwells said the area has received nine millimeters of precipitation so far this month, whereas July typically has an average total precipitation of 26 mm.
“We’re definitely running below normal levels,” he said Wednesday. “We’re halfway through the month and have received less than half the normal precipitation.”
Coldwells said August usually receives 34.6 mm of precipitation.
Comparatively, on Sunday, Port Alberni reached a record high of 36.3 C, Whistler reached 35.7 C, Kelowna reached 37.9 C and Lytton reached 41.1 C, beating a record set in 1961 of 40 C.
The all time high for Parksville Qualicum Beach is 34 C, a record set in August 1981.
Coldwells said the hot spell is expected to ease up this week with a high today (July 17) of 24 C. He said this weekend residents should expect to see “slightly below seasonal weather patterns” with a chance of showers and an average temperature of 19 C estimated for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Donna MacPherson, Coastal Fire Centre (CFC) fire information officer, said the area is experiencing “a week of unprecedented weather for the coast.”
MacPherson said up until last week the CFC had experienced “below the average number of fires.” However, with the recent spike in temperatures, the centre has nearly caught up to the average number recording 77 fires to date in the area, which includes Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii. MacPherson said the average number of fires up to this date in the season is 80.
MacPherson said the CFC is implementing an open fire ban starting today at noon, accompanying the existing category two fire ban.
She explains the new restrictions prohibit campfires, fire works, tiki torches, sky lanterns and burn barrels.
“We’re outlawing all open fire,” said MacPherson.
“What people can have are devices that are CSA (Canadian Standards Association) or ULC (Underwriters Lab Canada) approved cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 cm.”
The prohibition will remain in place until October 15, or until the public is notified the ban has been rescinded.
MacPherson said while temperatures are expected to drop in the oncoming week, the new restrictions come because winds are expected to pick up.
“We expect the passage of a cold front on the coast Friday,” she said. “That means we expect the winds will increase as they come through so we’re going from a hot, dry period to a windy period and that causes concern because any fire that was small could grow quickly.”
For more information on fire bans and restrictions visit www.bcwildfire.ca.
• Due to hot, dry weather (see story this page), the Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service Area is raising its water conservation to level three, according to a news release issued by the RDN Wednesday morning. The most notable change with the increase in restriction is the amount of time homeowners are allowed to conduct outdoor watering.
“This restriction moves the length of watering time from two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening, to one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening,” states the release.
Additionally, the notice prohibits homeowners in the area from washing their driveways or sidewalks, operating decorative fountains without re-circulated water and the filling of residential swimming pools, wading pools, garden ponds and/or decorative fountains. To wash a vehicle or boat, residents are required to use a hose equipped with a shutoff device. The release states water conservation level three will be in place for the Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service Area for the rest of the summer, or until further notice. For more information on watering restrictions visit the RDN website at www.rdn.bc.ca/cms.asp?wpID=938. If you have any questions or concerns contact the Water & Utility Services Department at 250-390-6560 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.