Vancouver set to break 60-year-old sunshine record

Say goodbye to blue skies. Cloud has moved in to southern B.C. and there is a chance of rain and thunderstorms over the long weekend. Christine Tam/Global News

Many people may think of the West Coast as wet and rainy, but Vancouver is set to change that perception.

The city hasn’t seen a bit of rain in the entire month of July. Not one single drop and at 9:42 a.m. today Vancouver broke the record for the sunniest July since 1985. Vancouver has recorded 388 hours of sunshine and with only two days left in the month of July, the city could break another record for the all-time driest July ever. The last record was set in 1986 with a trace amount of rain of 0.4 millimetres.

“We’re probably going to set two all-time records in the month of July, that being the sunniest month ever and the driest month ever, if we get through Wednesday with less than a trace of precipitation,” said David Jones, meteorologist with Environment Canada in Vancouver. “Certainly the sunshine record will fall by tomorrow.”

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Vancouver is forecast for mostly clear skies and no rain until Aug. 2.

The last time it was so sunny was back in July 1985 when they city had 388 hours of sunshine. The records go back to 1953.

As for precipitation, July 1985 and 1953 were the driest ever recorded for Vancouver. However, both times there were trace amounts of rain. Rain is only measured if it is 0.2 mm or more. Anything less than that, it’s considered trace. This means that July 2013 will go down in the record books as being the only month that had absolutely no rain at all, measurable or not.

The reason the weather has been so nice is due to a high pressure system that is keeping it cloudless and forcing any storms north, according to Jones.

“The other interesting thing about this is that our climate out here is spectacular in that we haven’t had any extreme heat during that whole period,” Jones said. “It’s been a very comfortable low to mid-20s all around Vancouver…we get the nice sea breeze, the cooling effect, so it’s been a very comfortable month.”

Jones said that Vancouver’s climate does produce long streaks of good weather from about mid-July to mid-August, but this is the longest streak in some time.

“It’s been an extraordinary month in terms of sunshine and in terms of absolutely no precipitation.”


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