July in West Van second hottest on record

Warm, dry summer is forecast for the coming week with some relief this weekend.

Soaring temperatures earned last month a place in the history books as the second hottest on record on the North Shore.

July 30 was a scorcher – the mercury climbed to 31.3 degrees Celsius in West Vancouver, making it the hottest day on the North Shore during the July heat wave, according to Environment Canada.

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This followed a pattern of hot weather in the month of July that didn’t give much relief to those suffering from the heat. Of the 25 years that temperatures have been recorded on the North Shore, this July was the second hottest on record with an average temperature of 20.4 degrees Celsius, just a smidgeon below the July 2015 record of 20.7 degrees.

Daytime highs were offset by relatively cool evenings, pointed out Matt MacDonald, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, which meant average temperatures weren’t so extreme.

“We saw some cooling off at night, which drove down the statistics,” he explained.

July was also the seventh driest month recorded with only 19.4 millimetres of rain – the driest was 2013 when only a trace of rain was detected in July.

The weather this July included some particularly strong and resilient high-pressure ridges with warm air coming from the United States, and any reprieve was short-lived, MacDonald said.

This week will continue with warm temperatures in the upper 20s, and low 30s inland, but by the end of the week, the high-pressure ridge is forecast to break down, albeit temporarily.

Cooler temperatures are predicted for Friday and the possibility of rain exists, but MacDonald said it won’t amount to much precipitation.

“Don’t get excited – it will be a few drops in a very empty bucket,” he said.

The bigger concern is that the breakdown in the high-pressure ridge means a possibility of thunder and lightning on the south coast.

“Friday may very well be that perfect pattern for the generation of thunderstorms – probably mostly over the mountains,” MacDonald said.

From Saturday onward, temperatures should be more seasonal, he added.

Nine years ago to the day of this year’s hottest recorded temperature so far, July 30, was the hottest day ever recorded at the West Vancouver weather station off Cypress Bowl Road, when the mercury hit 36 degree Celsius in 2007.

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