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Monday’s mid-Island warmth not a sign of things to come: Environment Canada

Nanaimo saw a high of 13.2 C on Monday, its 5th-warmest Feb. 7 on record
Thermometers hit 13.2 C in Nanaimo yesterday (Feb. 7), according to Environment Canada data. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Yesterday was the fifth-warmest Feb. 7 in Nanaimo’s history, but that isn’t a sign that spring is coming early, according to Environment Canada.

Armel Castellan, meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Nanaimo hit a high of 13.2 C on Monday, Feb. 7, the fifth-highest temperature for a Feb. 7 over the last 130 years of record keeping.

Yesterday’s double-digit temperature was due to a high-pressure ridge building and sunny breaks which helped “to get solar input,” he said, but cooler temperatures are forecast over the coming weeks, with a shift to “a more northwesterly flow,” for the middle of February.

Nanaimo’s average high for the month is 7.7 C, according to Environment Canada’s website.

Vanouver Island marmot Van Isle Violet prognosticated another six weeks of winter when it saw its shadow on Groundhog Day, and Castellan said Environment Canada agrees with that forecast.

“The sub-seasonal and the seasonal model see continued La Nina impact on the West Coast of Canada,” said Castellan. “Without question the last several weeks have been warmer than normal and also a little bit gloomier with a lot of stratus deck … We think spring is pretty much here, but we still have a little bit of a cooler pattern to go through, the second half of February, and maybe even into March and early April. So there is a bit of a caveat there because it is a seasonal forecast, and it’s not guaranteed, but the deck is stacked in that favour.”

Nanaimo’s warmest Feb. 7 happened in 1995 when the mercury got to 15.5 C, followed by 1993 (14.4 C), 1963 and 2015 (13.9 C), according to Castellan.

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