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Breaking records in B.C.: Dry and sunny conditions continue


Dayna Vettese
Meteorologist

Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 4:14 PM -

If you ask many south-coast British Columbians to explain what the height of the summer has been like, many would say, “beautiful!” and they wouldn't be wrong!

File photo

File photo

The end of June and all of July have been very dry, warm and sunny for those living in southwestern and coastal British Columbia. Temperatures for coastal areas throughout July have been close to normal, if not slightly above but it’s not the temperatures that have people talking, it’s the sunshine!

Vancouver’s International Airport has now broken its “Sunniest Month Ever” by receiving over 390 hours of sunshine so far (as of July 30). The old record was 388.1 hours in 1985. Vancouver isn’t the only sunny destination on the B.C. coast: the province’s capital, Victoria, is on track to beat its “Sunniest Month Ever” record. It has received about 410 hours of sunshine and the current record is 409.3 hours in 1985.

These areas have been sunny and dry. Vancouver is on track to beat its record of “Driest Month” since no rain has fallen in July yet. The current record is July 1985 with trace precipitation recorded. The average rainfall for Vancouver in July is roughly 36 mm.

Environment Canada also keeps records on dry spells. So far, Vancouver has gone 33 consecutive days without precipitation at the airport. There would need to be no rain until August 25, 2013 for Vancouver’s International Airport to break the dry spell record. Here are a list of the top five dry spells for Vancouver (note: the dates are the starting times of the dry spells):

1. June 14, 1951 - 58 Days 

2. July 17, 1986 - 53 Days

3. July 2, 1960 - 42 Days 

4. July 8, 1990 - 41 Days

5. July 8, 1961 - 38 Days

So if you’ve been getting out and enjoying the weather, there are no complaints! But there is one fly-in-the-ointment with the dry, warm weather being experienced: fires.

August is a notoriously dangerous month for fires in British Columbia and though this weather has been fantastic for vacationing at the beach, it is proving to be dangerous for fire danger. Most of the southern half of British Columbia is under a High or Extreme Fire Danger Rating due to the lack of rainfall in the province.

Image Courtesy: White Lake Road wildfire, B.C., © Wildfire Management Branch, BC Government

Image Courtesy: White Lake Road wildfire, B.C., © Wildfire Management Branch, BC Government

The question is: What will August be like?

Our meteorologists will be taking a look back across the country to see how the summer has been shaping up so far and we will also take a look forward to see what August has in store. Look for that article next week as we break it down across the country.

With files from Environment Canada and the Government of British Columbia’s Forest Service, including Wildfire Management Branch.

There have already been fires in the province, most recently a wildfire southwest of Okanagan Falls had several homes evacuated on July 29.

There have already been fires in the province, most recently a wildfire southwest of Okanagan Falls had several homes evacuated on July 29.

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