July 29, 2021

Updated – Extreme Heat Wave on the Way – Fire Danger Rising Rapidly

Updated 5:30AM Thursday – EC and UWash Agree

The EC forecast has been updated this morning and now agrees with the UWash models from last night. Temperatures on Monday could reach 42°C. Staggering. I will update again if there are any major changes. Otherwise, I will write a new post on Friday for the weekend.

We had a little taste of the heat on Sunday and Monday and a bit of a break Tuesday and Wednesday but the heat is returning, and it will be extreme.

Environment Canada Warning

EC has already issued an extreme heat warning, here is the most critical part:

“Daytime highs ranging from 29 to 37 degrees celsius combined with overnight lows of 18 to 20 degrees celsius. Humidex values during this period will reach the high 30’s to possibly the low 40’s.”

Heat Begins Friday

Just look at the stunning difference in forecast maps between Thursday:

And Friday:

On Thursday the Alberni Valley should reach 29°C, other parts of the Island will be in just below that. On Friday, we will easily break into the 30s across the Island. The model even shows points in pink just west of Port Alberni which could go up to 35°C.

Unusual Morning West Coast Heat – Saturday

On Saturday we start to see just how unusual and extreme this weather pattern will be, look closely at the 5AM Saturday picture below:

It will not cool off much in Port Alberni, only down to 18-20°C. But look at the extreme coast, Bamfield, and Nitinat could have 5AM temperatures over 25°C!! This is highly unusual.

Saturday we head back into the fryer with temperatures over 35°C widespread and possibly as high as 40°C in Port Alberni.

Fog should roll into the beach on the West Coast and hopefully provide relief there but the rest of the Island is in for extreme heat.

The all time hottest temperature at Alberniweather since 2005 was 40.9°C recorded July 21, 2006.

As hot as it often gets in Port Alberni, 40°C is always unusual. We could hit 40°C on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

There is some disagreement between the models, UWash is hotter than EC right now. So I won’t go into great detail past Saturday and instead I will update this on Friday when the high resolution forecasts reach Monday and Tuesday.

Currently, the UWash model is showing the heatwave breaking on the Island on Tuesday and moving East.

Fire Danger increasing

Here is the current danger map, it is not too bad.

Most areas of the province are still at moderate levels. However, the forecast from the Coastal Fire Centre shows most the Island will be at high danger levels by the weekend, with a few at extreme.

I suspect Port Alberni (Beaver Creek) will be at Extreme Fire Danger by Monday or Tuesday. Stay safe out there. Even though there is not a campfire ban right now, please do not light any campfires outside of your own backyard. It has been a dry spring. It won’t take much to start a forest fire.

Take care, and check on your elders.

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