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Vancouver just broke a 93-year-old heat record yesterday as hot October continues

Vancouver and the Lower Mainland have heat records fall October 2022.

October? More like Hot-tober.

On Oct. 16 Vancouver broke a 93-year-old heat record, as the weather station at Vancouver's airport recorded a high of 20.2 C Environment Canada meteorologist Derek Lee. Though Sunday's temperature was just 0.2 C higher than the 20 C on Oct. 16, 1929, it did still break that record.

But while Vancouver just barely set a record, other Lower Mainland communities were a little more dramatic this weekend.

"We had both Saturday and Sunday with records being set," says Lee.

On Oct. 15 Langley hit a high of 27.5 C, smashing the old daily high of 22.5 C from 1991. The next day it remained hot, as a high of 26.1 C was recorded, beating the previous high of 22.6 C in 2015.

West Vancouver also saw big jumps in daily records. On Oct. 15 they hit 24.8 C, more than four degrees higher than the record set in 1991 at 20.5 C. On Oct. 16 it was 24 C there, breaking the 2002 record of 21.7 C.

"Records are always being broken across the province almost on a daily basis," says Lee.

That's particularly true of Langley and West Vancouver this October; Langley has broken 10 daily high records this month, while West Van has broken six.

"It's almost like this is an extension of what we'd see in late August," Lee says of the current weather trend.

That trend, and the drought, may be ending soon, as a wetter system is expected to head inland from the Pacific later this week.

Drought weather

Along with the daily high records, Lee says people may be perceiving the heat more than in past years due to the drought, as there haven't been any cool periods over the last couple of months.

"We have to stress that the heat is hand in hand with the drought records," he says.

Since July, Vancouver has been exceptionally dry, Lee notes. In fact, it's been the driest July to October has been in Vancouver, ever. July to September are typically the driest months of the year he adds, but normally October has more rain than the other three combined.

This October, to date, there's been zero recorded precipitation in Vancouver.

He notes that depending on how rainy the next storm is, it could pose problems for parts of B.C., due to runoff or landslides.

"Hopefully the rain amounts start pretty light to gently transition into a fall pattern," he says.

Rain is coming

Rain is in the forecast Lee adds, with the first drops expected Friday, Oct. 21.

"It's the first storm of the season, almost," he says. "It's kinda like 'Welcome back to the rain' for now."

Along with the rain will come cooler temperatures more in line with a normal autumn in Vancouver.

Right now rain is expected on Friday, with more likely over the weekend and into early next week, but rainfall amounts are uncertain. 

Smoky skies continue

A more immediate concern for some people is the haze that's been in the sky the last few days.

Lee says while there have been forest fires in the area recently, the smoke is actually coming from a bit further away, as wind currents are blowing up from the US. In the eastern part of the Fraser Valley, some low-lying smoke is coming from a local fire, but otherwise, it's American smoke in Vancouver.

Tuesday we can expect more of the same air quality issues, but Lee is hopeful things will improve Wednesday morning.