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B.C. air quality drops from wildfire smoke, summer-like heat continues

Thursday, October 1st 2020, 9:05 pm - More wildfire smoke and summer-like temperatures have infiltrated parts of British Columbia.

More smoke from the U.S. West Coast's wildfires has pushed into British Columbia, after a summer that featured plenty of smoky skies already.

So far this year, for example, the City of Victoria has amassed nearly 200 hours of smoky observations at the international airport. By far, an outlier over the past quarter-century of weather observations.

Victoria smoke

Visit our Complete Guide to Fall 2020 for an in depth look at the Fall Forecast, tips to plan for it and a sneak peek at the winter ahead

The current shot of hazy skies comes courtesy of a searing high-pressure ridge, with southerly winds pushing in pockets of poor air quality, but isn't expected to be nearly as hazardous as was the case last month.

BCAir

Less smoke will entrench itself at the surface, unlike earlier in September. That was the result of a strong inversion, cold air trapped above warmer air, and firestorms in Washington and Oregon that effectively filled the lowest elevations of the province.

Friday's daytime highs will be in the low-20s for the Interior, feeling like the upper-20s in some areas, which isn't too much of a stretch towards past October heat records.

Oct heat records

Beyond, the late summer-like weather is expected to continue through the weekend and into early next week, with plenty of sunshine. A cooler and much wetter pattern is expected to develop late next week and continue through the Thanksgiving long weekend and the following week.

We've had a few questions from viewers about the effect of the smoky conditions on B.C.'s temperatures. For answers, watch the video that leads this article for a more detailed look at the smoke forecast.

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