February 17, 2015 8:13 pm
Updated: February 18, 2015 1:40 am

Calendar says February but B.C. temperatures say April


WATCH: The above-average warm temperatures this month doesn’t bring all good news for the west coast. Elaine Yong explains how outdoor activities are being reorganzied to accommodate the conditions.

VANCOUVER – B.C. has been enjoying warmer than usual temperatures around the province these past few weeks.

February temperatures have resembled those usually seen in the first three weeks of April, and the freezing level over the past few days has been close to 3,000 metres, or similar to May and June. The average overall temperature for the month so far is 8.9 degrees, with the normal for the entire month being 4.9 degrees.

Even January was warmer than average at 5.6 degrees for the month. The 30-year normal has been 4.1 degrees.

Records for Tuesday, Feb. 17:

  • Abbotsford 14.9. Old 14.0 (2010)
  • Squamish 15.3. Old 14.5 (2005)
  • Pemberton 8.8. Old 8.5 (2005)
  • Pitt Meadows 14.6. Old 13.0 (2005)
  • Agassiz 15.5. Old 14.3 (2005)
  • Bella Coola 11.6. Old 10.6 (2010)

  • Story continues below

The warmer weather seems to be a pattern that repeats every five years. The last time B.C. had such a warm winter was in 2010, and before that in 2005; both of which were El Niño years.

While 2015 has not been declared an El Niño year yetbased on current data, it is shaping up to be one.

There are two scenarios at work to create this warm weather. The first is an upper level ridge over the entire province where there is an arc in the jet stream. That arc drives all of the systems north of the province and pulls in the warmer area below, from the south.

The second scenario involves the Pineapple Express jet stream with all the wet systems coming from the sub-tropics and bringing the warm weather with lots of rain.

And while the next 24 hours may see some wet conditions, the last few days of the week and the weekend will again see sunny and warmer temperatures than normal.

Even the hibernating grizzly bears on Grouse Mountain have been doing some light stretching!

bearshibernate output from Grouse Mountain Wildlife Refuge on Vimeo.

Metro Vancouver officials are warning people however that the warmer weather does not mean the Grouse Grind is safe to hike at this time.

Bob Cavill, Metro Vancouver’s manager of watersheds says hundreds of people every day are going around the fence and the ‘closed’ sign at the bottom. The Grind, which normally opens in late May or early June, is still considered unstable and the extra damage to the trail could delay the scheduled opening.

Photo courtesy of Metro Vancouver:


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