Saying it was hot on Vancouver Island last weekend would definitely be an understatement.
Woss resident Luke Rushton, who is an avid weather enthusiast, was keeping a close eye on the tiny hamlet’s weather station, where he says it ended up hitting blistering shade temperatures of 40.7°C on Saturday, 42.2°C on Sunday, and 44.1°C on Monday, which unofficially bested the hottest temperature ever recorded on Vancouver Island, 43.9°C from July 1, 1942 in Cumberland.
“This heat we just had was unbelievable and historical!” said Rushton, adding it was like “stepping outside into an atmospheric furnace. You begin sweating within a couple minutes just by sitting and not doing anything. Standing in direct sun, the wind felt like being hit by the heat of an erupting fire after pouring gas on it.”
It was so hot that Rushton’s rhododendron and dogwood trees started to brown.
Rushton has been keeping watch on all of the temperatures across Vancouver Island, and he noted that the Port Hardy Airport unofficially recorded three consecutive days of 30.0°C or more and as many as 60 other community records were smashed across the province, many of them new all-time numbers including these island locations:
Woss (unofficially): 44.1°C;
Campbell River: 39.3°C;
Nanaimo (VIU weather station): 40.4°C;
Gold River (unofficially): 43.7°C;
Port Alberni: 42.7°C;
Esquimalt: 39.8°C; and
Telegraph Cove (unofficially): 35.0°C.
“Most of all, the all-time Canadian national temperature record of 45.0°C was shattered three days in a row in Lytton with the hottest reaching a staggering 49.6°C officially,” added Rushton.
So what’s the difference between official weather records and unofficial records?
Well, according to Rushton, “official weather is taken from government weather stations that record and document data to the national weather office, and unofficial is taken from non-government weather stations that record data but do not document data like official stations. They are usually the closest thing to what a true (official) weather station would read.”
The Gazette has reached out to Environment Canada for a response, and will update the story when we hear back.