March 18, 2019 4:42 pm
Updated: March 18, 2019 10:08 pm

Temperature records tumble as early spring-like weather arrives in B.C.

WATCH: North Shore Rescue warns of avalanche risk during warmer weather


Spring hasn’t sprung quite yet, but balmy, spring-like weather has certainly arrived in B.C.

A timely ridge of high pressure has rolled over the province, bringing with it sunny skies and new temperature records.

According to Environment Canada, at least a dozen communities in B.C. saw record high temperatures on Sunday.

READ MORE: B.C. year in review 2018: Storms, smoke, snow round out year of wild weather

In Squamish, the mercury hit 21.3 degrees C, beating a 1983 record of 18 C.

In Pitt Meadows temperatures reached 19.5 C, toppling a record set in 1947, while a top temperature of 18.1 C in Pemberton beat a 2018 record by more than three degrees.

Elsewhere in B.C. things didn’t get quite as toasty, but the weather was warm enough to set some new records.

WATCH: Warm weather arrives on the South Coast just in time for spring break

Prince Rupert and Fort Nelson both hit 14.3 C, toppling records set in 1983 and 1947 respectively, while Blue River hit 14.2 degrees, beating a 2015 record.

READ MORE: 2018 was 4th hottest year on record, says EU climate agency

And the warm weather doesn’t show any signs of fading fast.

Global BC meteorologist Mark Madryga says the high pressure system is likely to remain over B.C. for several days with conditions staying “warm through Thursday with temperatures way above average.”

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For Metro Vancouver, that could mean highs of up to 22 C on Tuesday, and declining slowly before cool and cloudy weather is forecast to return on Friday.

The sunny skies could hint at troubling signs of drought for the summer to come.

READ MORE: Special public avalanche warning issued in B.C. and Alberta

“Precipitation [for March] is down considerably, and that’s a concern heading into the spring,” Madryga said.

More than halfway through the month, Vancouver has recorded just 25 millimetres of precipitation, less than a quarter of the monthly average of 114 millimetres.

In Penticton, just nine millimetres of rain has fallen, compared to a monthly average of 24 millimetres.

READ MORE: Despite a snowy winter, concerns have shifted from flooding to drought in B.C.

In the north, the situation is even more pronounced, with Prince George seeing just two millimetres of rainfall, compared to a monthly  average of 30. In Fort St. John, just 0.2 millimetres has fallen, well below the monthly average of 24.

Last week, the BC River Forecast Centre raised drought concerns, noting that provincewide the snowpack is sitting at an average of 89 per cent of normal levels.

Spring officially arrives in B.C. just before 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

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