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HomeNewsVancouver Island, Sunshine Coast in deep freeze throughout October

Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast in deep freeze throughout October

It’ll take a while to thaw out from a chillier-than-usual October.

Every inch of the province saw unusually cold conditions.

Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald said Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast weren’t able to shake free from Old Man Winter’s icy grip.

“If you look at Campbell River, they were 1.6 degrees colder than their normal of 8.6, Port Hardy, 1.2 degrees colder, and then (the) Comox (Valley) was the closest to normal, they were only 0.7 degrees colder than normal. And then over on the other side of the (Georgia) Strait, Powell River (was) 1.8 degrees colder than normal,” MacDonald said.

“So it was a crisp month, especially with the last week, here, being much colder than normal.”

A frigid start to the month pulled average temperatures down across the region.

RELATED: Cold records tumble across Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast

Cold records fell in Campbell River, Port Hardy, and Powell River on Oct. 9 and 10.

Campbell River plunged to minus-5.1 degrees on Oct. 9, obliterating the previous mark for the day of minus-1.1 degrees from 1973.

And Campbell River’s minus-4.4 degree low on Oct. 10 was also record-setting, edging the previous record of minus-3 that stood for 36 years.

In Port Hardy, it dropped to minus-2.5 degrees on Oct. 9, erasing the previous mark of 1.1 degrees dating back to 1957.

The Oct. 10 minus-1.8 degree low in Port Hardy beat the district’s previous record of minus-0.6 low from 1972.

It’s also been historically cold in Powell River over those two days, with a record low of minus-2.5 degrees on Oct. 9.

That’s a four-and-a-half degree difference from the previous record for Oct. 9, of two degrees set in 2017.

It got as cold as minus-1.6 degrees in Powell River on Oct. 10. That beat the old record of minus-0.3 degrees from 2008.

MacDonald said we had an “early taste” of modified Arctic air to start the month.

“Anytime we get these ridges of high pressure that build in over the northern part of B.C. or even over the Yukon, that pushes this cold, Arctic air southward across the province,” MacDonald said. 

“I’d say this year we were two to three weeks ahead of normal with seeing the first taste of cold air to begin the month and then the very same pattern toward the end of the month.”

MacDonald said we could soon see some relief from the cold.

“In the week ahead, we’re expecting a little bit more cloud cover so you probably won’t be seeing those overnight lows dip quite as low, but still staying cool, here, for the next two weeks.”

Looking long-term, MacDonald said starting next weekend, we’ll be getting into a more typical November-like pattern.

“I’d say for the next week-and-a-half, two weeks, cool, and clear, and dry and then transitioning into that wet pattern that we know oh, so well.”

He added that the longer-term models are indicating warmer than normal through to the end of November.

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