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Western Canada's record-smashing heat

+40C for first time this year and 120-year record broken


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, June 29, 2015, 7:31 AM - The last weekend in June felt like fall in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. But out west, in British Columbia in particular, it was hot enough to bury records dating back more than 100 years.

Back-to-back blazing hot days over the weekend saw 34 records topple on Saturday June 27, with another 30 following suit on Sunday June 28.

Not only was the 40oC barrier broken in 2015 for the first time that weekend, some communities not only had their hottest days in June, one had its hottest-ever day, period, in 114 years.

Hottest day ever

There has never been a hotter day in Cranbrook, B.C., than it was on June 28, 2015 -- at least not since records were kept.

The town made it to 36.8oC, a smidgen higher than its old record in 1925, and the hottest day it has ever experienced, in any month, since record-keeping began in 1901 -- at a time when Canada had only seven provinces.

Though it's the only community that could make that claim, others, aside from experiencing their hottest June 28 on record, also marked their hottest-ever June days.

Though not as hot as on June 27(more on that in a minute), there were still some near-misses, with Revelstoke, Kamloops and Lillooet coming within one degree of 40.

And though some records were recent, at least one, Kamloops, went all the way back to the 1890s.

City New Record Old Record Record year
Bella Bella 29.6 23.4 1982
Blue River 35.9 32.0 1978
Castlegar 37.0 35.0 1922
Comox 31.2 30.0 1951
Cranbrook 36.8 36.1 1925
Creston 38.1 33.3 1926
Fort St. John 27.9 27.8 1950
Kamloops 39.1 38.3 1896
Kelowna 38.7 35.0 1937
Kitimat 31.2 30.0 1987
Lillooet 39.3 37.5 1987
Lytton 39.4 38.0 2008
Mackenzie 29.1 28.2 1987
Nakusp 37.1 33.5 2006
Nelson 37.0 33.9 1932
Pemberton 37.2 36.0 2008
Penticton 36.4 34.9 1979
Princeton 37.6 36.1 1937
Puntzi Mountain 32.9 30.3 2008
Revelstoke 39.5 35.0 1925
Smithers 30.1 29.3 1987
Sparwood 34.9 30.3 2006
Squamish 34.3 31.6 2008
Summerland 36.1 35.5 2008
Tatlayoko 33.3 31.5 1987
Terrace 30.9 30.4 1995
Vernon 39.3 35.4 2008
Whistler 35.6 33.2 2008
Williams Lake 31.4 30.1 2008
Yoho National Park 31.3 27.8 1932

First to Forty

As blazing hot as June 28 was, June 27 was even hotter in some parts of B.C.

The communities of Osoyoos and Warfield were the first in Canada to creep past the 40oC mark this year on June 27. Aggazis, B.C., had its hottest June 27 in 120 years, since 1895.

Some communities not only had their warmest June 27 on record, they also had their warmest-ever record for any day in June, period. The least-hot record on Saturday's list is from the Mackenzie area, at 28.4oC.

City New Record Old Record Record Year
Abbotsford 32.1 31.1 2000
Agassiz 33.7 32.8 1895
Blue River 34.9 34.1 2006
Campbell River 33.0 30.2 2000
Castlegar 39.2 38.3 1925
Clearwater 36.4 36.0 2006
Comox 30.9 29.4 1995
Creston 37.8 36.7 1925
Grand Forks 39.9 38.3 1925
Hope 33.8 31.1 1951
Kamloops 38.2 37.1 2006
Kelowna 38.1 37.5 2006
Lillooet 39.5 36.7 1925
Lytton 39.6 35.9 1987
Mackenzie 28.4 28.2 1992
Malahat 32.6 29.6 1995
Merritt 38.0 35.0 1992
Nakusp 35.3 34.1 1992
Nanaimo 33.3 31.7 1892
Nelson 37.6 33.6 2006
Osoyoos 40.4 36.9 2006
Pemberton 38.6 34.0 1992
Pitt Meadows 33.3 32.8 1895
Port Alberni 36.6 34.5 2000
Princeton 38.4 34.8 2006
Puntzi Mountain 31.7 29.0 1978
Sechelt 30.6 27.5 1995
Sparwood 33.6 31.5 2006
Tatlayoko Lake 31.3 28.5 1992
Tofino 28.7 27.6 1995
Warfield 40.6 36.0 2006
Victoria Area 29.8 29.5 1995
Whistler 34.5 32.0 2000
Williams Lake 30.3 29.5 2006

Record high temperatures were also set in portions of Alberta Saturday. Banff was the hot spot with a new same-day record of 31.9oC, beating out 29.8oC in 2006.


City New Record Old Record Record Year
Banff 31.9 29.8 2006
Bow Valley 31.8 31.1 2006
Canmore 31.9 29.8 2006
Crowsnest 31.6 30.4 2006
High Level 29.9 29.3 2004
Rainbow Lake 29.9 28.0 2004
Suffield  34.8 34.4 2002

DANGEROUS HEAT: 40oC is not healthy. Here are five terrible things extreme heat can do to humans.


British Columbia's long range forecast includes sun and warm temperatures for the rest of the week of June 29 - July 5.

The past two months have been extremely dry in parts of British Columbia and across the Prairies, contributing to a spike in wildfires, new steps toward water rationing and rising grain prices.

Was it a heat wave?

Although the public will often use the word "heat wave" to refer to any perceived period of hot temperatures, it requires specific criteria to be met.

An actual heat wave occurs when there are three or more consecutive days when the maximum temperature reaches 32°C or more.

Even when the temperature reaches potentially dangerous levels (Related: Five horrible things extreme heat does do humans), Environment Canada's system of heat warnings doesn't cover most of B.C.

While every other province and territory in Canada has a province-wide warning threshold, usually based on temperature and/or how long that temperature will last, EC only issues explicit heat warnings in B.C. for two cities: Vancouver (When temperatures are expected to reach 29°C or more on consecutive days) and Abbotsford (where the threshold is 34oC). The weather agency does occasionally issue special weather statements for heat when conditions warrant.

Regardless of what the official story is, though, people complaining of a heat wave in the B.C. Interior won't be guilty of exaggerating this weekend.

With files from Leeanna McLean

SOURCES: The Weather Network | Environment Canada

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