An especially warm and sunny Sunday broke a daily high temperature record that has stood for 127 years.
Not only did Sunday top the charts, but Monday, March 18, also pushed the mercury past a previous record high.
“It looks like the previous record for March 17 – and we do it by calendar day – was 16.1 degrees [Celsius] and that was set in 1892,” said Carmen Hartt, Environment Canada meteorologist. “That was the first year we had records and yesterday was 16.2.”
The measurement was reported by Nanaimo Airport. Monday was also a record breaker. Shortly, after 2 p.m. Environment Canada reported 18 C, breaking a 91-year-old record for March 17, also 16.1 C, set in 1928.
The normal average daily high temperature for this week in March is 11 C.
March has been dry too. With just three rainy days that deposited 19.3 millimetres of precipitation on the area. The normal amount of rain for the entire month is 78.4mm and March normally has 16.7 days of rain.
“So, you know, we’re past the halfway point for days of the month, but definitely not in terms of (precipitation),” Hartt said.
Cold temperatures and dry arctic air throughout the first half of March are responsible for the lack of rain. Hartt said to expect scattered showers this weekend. Environment Canada isn’t predicting a period of sustained precipitation, but Hartt said the remainder of March will feature more spring-like warmer temperatures.
Hartt also said people should pay attention to the ultraviolet index and to keep sunscreen handy due to the higher risk of sunburn.
“The [ultraviolet light] depends on the strength of the sun. In March the maximum the maximum the UV gets is around five, which is moderate, but that still does mean, depending on the person, you can have a sunburn in 45 minutes,” Hartt said.