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North Shore smashes high temperature records at a balmy 17.3 degrees

Rain, snow melt create flooding danger; avalanche hazard continues in back country near Squamish and Whistler
The North Shore hit a high temperature of over 17 C on Sunday, as a series of rain storms hit the Vancouver area. Rain is expected again on Wednesday before weather patterns dry out and temperatures drop to more seasonal norms on the weekend. | file photo Mike Wakefield / North Shore News

Unseasonably warm temperatures smashed weather records on the North Shore this week, with West Vancouver reaching a very un-January-like 17.3 C on Monday.

The balmy temperature easily beat the previous record of 14 C set in 1998.

West Vancouver’s record-breaking temperatures were among those broken at more than 30 locations in the South Coast.

Abbotsford was a hot spot, at 18.2 C. Other communities with high-temperature records included Sechelt, at 16.2 C, Victoria at 15.3 C and Vancouver at 14.3 C.

It also didn’t cool off much overnight, with Monday’s overnight low temperature in West Vancouver dipping to only 11 C.

Sunday’s high temperature in West Vancouver was also positively spring-like, at 13.9 C.

The unseasonably warm weather – which has brought temperatures five to 10 degrees warmer than usual to the south coast – has come in with a series of storms that has also brought heavy rainfall to the coast.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, the West Vancouver weather station recorded its rainiest day so far, with 62 millimetres of rain. So far this month, West Vancouver has already clocked over 390 mm of rain at Environment Canada’s automated weather station.

The next rainstorm is expected to hit the south coast on Wednesday morning, according to Environment Canada, before temperatures drop down nearer to seasonal norms and weather patterns dry out by the weekend.

The combination of heavy rain and rising freezing levels that have led to mountain snow melt have increased the potential for flooding, pooling water on roads and rising river levels on the North Shore, as well as along the Sea-to-Sky corridor including Squamish and the Sunshine Coast. There is also a risk of landslides in areas where heavy rain has fallen on already saturated soils.


Avalanche Canada is also warning that avalanche danger remains high in several areas of the backcountry including alpine areas around Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and Garibaldi Provincial Park after the upper snowpack was saturated and weakened by rain.

Avalanche danger in the North Shore backcountry is currently rated as moderate.

The most recent warm weather has also not been good news for North Shore ski hills, with most operating only limited runs on Tuesday.