Stopwatch through Cameron Lake – More Heat Coming – Heatdome Anniversary, the Science, Rally today.

A Google Map of the section I timed between the Hwy4/4A Junction stoplight and Cathedral Grove.

A Google Map of the section I timed between the Hwy4/4A Junction stoplight and Cathedral Grove.

On the Stopwatch

On the way home (westbound) on Tuesday I decided to set my stopwatch. I started it at the stoplight at about 4:10PM at the Highway 4 – 4A Junction and stopped it at Cathedral Grove at 4:44PM. It seemed likely pretty typical traffic. Mostly daily commuters/trucks with some summer tourists as well.

Here’s a breakdown:

A Google Map of the section I timed between the Hwy4/4A Junction stoplight and Cathedral Grove.
A Google Map of the section I timed between the Hwy4/4A Junction stoplight and Cathedral Grove.

It took me 15 minutes to drive from the stoplight and stop just before Cameron Lake Park. I was about 15th in line. Traffic on the way there was fairly normal. From Koen Rd to the stoppage, the speed limit is reduced to 60kph.

The eastbound traffic appeared a few minutes later and once it passed, we started to move at 24 minutes since the Highway 4A junction stoplight.

A few pictures of the damage/burned hillside and the cranes near Angel Rock.

The speed limit through the construction zone is 30kph. Just west of Angel Rock is a new mobile weather station! I hope they keep it there and maybe even put the information online! 🙂

We got to Angel Rock at 29 minutes and to the eastbound stopping point at 31 minutes (4:39PM).

I stopped the stopwatch when we got to Cathedral Grove. Total time from Highway 4/4A Junction stoplight to Cathedral Grove: 35 minutes 26.01 seconds.

I came back through Wednesday morning eastbound and it was a similar experience but not quite as long. Perhaps 25 minutes.

Heat continues through end of Month – Water Restrictions July 1

Expect the warm, sunny and dry weather to continue for the foreseeable future as we will see temperatures just below 30ºC through the July 1 Long Weekend.

We might get a bit of a break from the heat late next week but there is no substantial rain in the forecast through mid July 13 according to the 16-day model at SpotWx:

A long mostly empty graph with shaded blue areas toward the right indicated a median likelihood of under 5mm accumulated precipitation between now and July 13.
Only 5mm expected out to July 13th

There might be a chance of a thunderstorm today and throughout this period and an associated downpour but it would be very localized and still unlikely to amount to much.

Water Restrictions – Wildfire Danger

The City of Port Alberni is bringing in Stage 1 Water Restrictions as of July 1:

“Starting Saturday, July 1st from 6 to 9 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., odd-numbered addresses can water their lawns, trees, shrubs and flowers on odd-numbered calendar days; even-numbered addresses can water on even-numbered calendar days.

Residents can continue with drip or micro-irrigation and hand watering using a spring-loaded nozzle or watering pail or bucket any day at any time for a maximum of two hours. In addition, residents can wash vehicles and outdoor surfaces any day at any time using a spring-loaded nozzle or watering pail or bucket.”

BC Wildfire has their danger rating at Extreme for our area (Beaver Creek) as well as parts of the North Island and High for other areas. Their forecast has a couple more areas in the Coastal Fire Centre moving to High or Extreme tomorrow and I would expect this to continue to spread next week.

Heat Dome Anniversary – Climate Emergency Action

Two years ago this station reached an unprecedented 41.6ºC marking the peak of 3 consecutive days over 38ºC. The Airport hit 42.7ºC, breaking the all time official record of 41.7ºC that had stood since 1926. Finally, Robertson Creek Fish Hatchery hit the highest temperature ever recorded by an Environment Canada station in the Alberni Valley at 45.5ºC after three consecutive days over 40.

You can see below that all three of these temperatures were very extreme in the historical records going back to 1901.

A graph showing all Environment Canada stations in the Alberni Valley plus Alberniweather.

This heat dome was directly related to human-caused climate change, killed hundreds of people (Environ Epidemiol. 2022 Feb; 6(1): e189.) and thousands, perhaps millions, of plants (Tree Physiology, Volume 43, Issue 2, February 2023) and animals on land (Remote Sens. 2023, 15(8), 2162;) and sea (ResearchWorks Archive). The upcoming El Niño may combine with this global heating to produce the hottest land and ocean temperatures ever recorded (Scientific American June 21,2023).

We can expect the trend of rising temperatures, fires, and floods to continue to get worse (Nature Communications volume 14, Article number: 1690 (2023)) unless and until we stop emitting CO2 pollution. It will take some years after that stoppage for the climate to turn around… like a huge ship stopping long after the engines are put into reverse.

There will be a rally at the Royal Bank Canada building at 1PM put on by Alberni Climate Action and Alberni Valley Transition Town Society. I urge you to rally with them. Royal Bank and the other large Canadian banks are among the world’s leading lenders to fossil fuel corporations.