If you felt particularly chilly this morning, it’s because temperatures in Victoria broke a 50-year-old weather record today.
Temperatures in the capital city dropped to 0°C at around 5 a.m. on Thursday morning. According to Environment Canada statistics, the last time it got that cold was on October 10th – exactly 50 years ago, in 1969.
“Basically what we had was a cold front through most of the province over the course of a day or two earlier this week,” Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon told Victoria Buzz. “Now we’re all entrenched in this cold air since about yesterday.”
The cold front descended over British Columbia from the Arctic around Tuesday, and is expected to clear out over the next few days.
While minimum temperatures have dropped to record low levels, daytime highs are still relatively warm, reaching up to 12°C today and 14ºC tomorrow.
According to Sekhon, a new weather system coming in from the Pacific will bring warmer air and increasing cloudiness over the next two days.
“On Saturday we start to get into more unsettled conditions with some showers in the forecast, but temperatures are going to be relatively warm,” he says.
To see temperatures drop this low so early in the season is clearly an anomaly, but not unprecedented.
“Looking back at Victoria, for example in 2009, on the 11th of October we had [a low of] 0.6°C. So it doesn’t happen often but we can get these cold snaps every now and again,” says Sekhon.
“As the climate changes we can have more extremes, but we can’t say this event is necessarily linked to climate change. It’s one event.”