Looking at the forecast here today, we might just manage a sweep of all 7 days of this week hitting above 30 degrees.

The end of July and beginning of August is generally our hottest and driest time in Port Alberni. We’re certainly maintaining that trend, though personally, I don’t remember a setup like this.

Anyone else who is maybe a little more wise and aged than I have a correlating Alberni heatwave experience?

There are severe water restrictions in place for Tofino and a water shortage seems guaranteed. We can expect water restrictions in Port Alberni likely by the end of this week if this forecast holds though only stage one (watering even/odd days). We are blessed with ample water here.

You would think this would be the case for the entire Island, but we really are unique in this respect, and very lucky.

Enjoy the weather! Stay cool and hydrated!

UPDATE Friday July 24: Well we haven’t reached our forecast 30C the past couple days, so no sweep yet, but judging by the forecast we still have a serious chance of doing it over the next week or two! 39C on Tuesday. That’s a mere 102F for you not-so-oldtimers out there! 😀

Remember to conserve water and only water during the morning or late evening hours… whenever the graph below shows no bars is the best time to water!


Ok, I’ve done a little research going into all of the Environment Canada archives spanning 12 different stations around the Valley, from 1904 to 2007

Here’s what I found… this is very unofficial, the stations were spread out but most of the records came from a few stations. I don’t guarantee that I missed a heatwave or two, but I did get the maximum temperature for sure.

We’ve had around 24 heatwaves in that period. My personal, and unofficial, definition of a heatwave is thus: A period of high temps peaking at at least 38C (100F), and remaining over 30C for more than 5 days straight at one of the stations.

Our Highest temperature ever recorded at an Environment Canada weather station was at the original EC weather station in Beaver Creek. It recorded a temperature of 41.7C on July 10, 1926. It actually only got up to 37 at the Port Alberni City Hall station during that short, 4 day, heat event though, so perhaps that reading is a little suspect.

The runners up are 41.1C August 18, 1908 in Beaver Creek and again 41.1C at old City Hall July 15, 1941.

Alberniweathers top temperature was 40.9C on July 21, 2006, but again, my station wasn’t placed in the best spot, so maybe a bit of overshoot there as well. Thankfully that is now fixed.

The longest heatwave:
We’ve had a few of at least 10 days in length.. including one some might remember here from July 24 to August 2 1965 that peaked at 40.6C at McCoy Lake, 39.4 at Robertson Creek hatchery and 38.3 at Redford School.

But we have a tie for the longest heatwave ever at 12 straight days over 30C…. the first way back between August 4 and 15 1920 when Beaver Creek reached 38.3 and City Hall peaked at 35C, and one between August 8 and 19, 1967… when McCoy Lake peaked at 38.3C

So what about Climate Change you ask? Your big numbers all look to be way back in the past…

If we look at the 46 years of 1904 and 1950, there were 11 heatwaves, 6 happening in the first dozen years to 1916, this might be due to poor instrumentation or record keeping back then. After 1950 we have had 14… 2 per decade, until the 1990s when we had 3 and again this decade we’ve had 3 to 2007. Huge difference, not really, I would say marginal but worth looking at more scientifically.

Getting back to our current bout of heat. Really, we have nothing to complain about, our current temperatures aren’t out of the ordinary… it will be when we hit that magic 38C/100F that this could get interesting… and if any station in the valley hits 40C, then you know we’re getting into all time record territory.

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18 thoughts on “Hot Sweep Week!

  1. I was wrong, EC daily data records go back to 1992, not 1995.
    The link is too long to post here, but in EC’s Climate Normals section, you can see that the hottest day recorded in PA between 1971 and 2000 was Aug 8, 1978 at 38.4C!

  2. Well it certainly looks like we could eclipse that record on Sunday now.

    That record would have likely been from the station at the old Airport on the Somass across from Clutesi.

    A while back I downloaded all of the excel data from all of the alberni area stations. I will go back to that data and see how many heat waves Port has had since the 1880s.

    If we get 8 days of over 30 weather, it could approach a record.

  3. Well, that’s disappointing – yesterday broke the 30C sweep. Maybe we’ll get the next six or seven days though!

  4. Does anyone ever remember a forecasted high of 39 degrees for teh valley? Looks like tuesday will be record breaking.

  5. I did some more digging on EC’s Daily Observation Data and found that 1998 wasn’t the longest heat wave, 1996 was. There were 8 days in July over 30C! My wife should have remembered that, she was eight months pregnant at the time!
    Also, on July 21, 2006 EC recorded a temp of 38.0 at the Airport. Let’s see if we can beat that next week.

  6. Yup, that’s the record to beat it seems. My station recorded its all time high that day as well.



    That was when my station was closer to my roof though, so a bit of overshoot maybe.

    I just received a response from Anne McCarthy at Environment Canada in Victoria:

    Based on merged records from the two airport stations – which is not
    climatolgically valid but… 39 will be a monthly record- maybe an
    annual record=- I’d have to look

    Anne McCarthy Environment Canada

    I have the entire record for Alberni in CSV format here on my laptop… I’ll go through it later and see what the highest recorded temperature in the Valley has been.

  7. Thanks Chris. Great research. Bottom line is, in spite of our interminably dull, wet winters that we are known for, I think we have the best summer weather in BC!
    It’s as good as the Okanagan, but without the nasty thunderstorms and wind they get at the end of every hot day!

  8. I am stuck in Edmonton for another few weeks …all I have to do when I get home sick is look on here – I hate heat! Edmonton is hot, but not THAT hot!
    And, Bill – Those storms are my favorite part! I thought I was sooo lucky to be here for the big storm a couple weekends ago! 134km winds and friggin awesome lightning show!

  9. Thanks for the great website!
    I finally saw a few flashes last night over to the east around 10:30!! reminded me of home lol!
    This is the best weather out here for sure, I have never experienced such long, warm summers.
    Still holding out for a thunderstorm though 🙂

  10. Well, my temp readings peaked out at 38.0 at 16:01 today. Humidex was just over 41.

  11. I’ve had a steady breeze (avg was 5km/h) here all day so I can’t say my temps are skewed that much.

    I did a brief study one day last fall by putting a fan inside my homemade radiation screen. I didn’t find much of a difference between aspirated and non-aspirated readings.

  12. You sound like me 🙂

    I asked Ed Wiebe of islandweather.ca down at UVic this:

    Rather than tripod, would the Davis “24hr Fan Aspirated Radiation Shield” do the trick?

    He said:

    The fan will not help as it will ingest the hot air from close to your house. The tripod will probably help. You need to get the instruments a metre or two away from the roof or wall.

    You don’t need the tripod of course you can use any piece of pipe or a wooden post.

    The key is to get the station away from any surface boundary layers.

  13. Interesting. My sensor setup is about 10 feet from any major building surface, and almost 10 feet off the ground. I wonder if it needs another shot of white paint.

  14. Well, I rang out at 40.9 at 5:01pm today.. Humidex for that time frame would have just tickled 45…

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