Uhe western region of Canada has been facing a series of catastrophic weather events for several months. After suffocating this summer under a historic heat dome, causing global concern, British Columbia suffered another record rise in mercury this week… to 22.5 ° C.
In the middle of December, this temperature was recorded in Penticton, in central British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada. “It’s a record, or else it equalizes a record” dating back to 1982 in Ontario, said Armel Castellan, meteorologist at Environment Canada, at Agence France-Presse on Thursday, December 2. Penticton, a city of 33,000 inhabitants, is located a few hundred kilometers from Lytton, a municipality 250 kilometers northeast of Vancouver which at the end of June recorded the historical record for temperature in Canada with 49.6 degrees Celsius. 90% of the village was destroyed by a forest fire.
22.5C today in #Penticton, #BritishColumbia!
That breaks the previous provincial monthly record by more than 3C and ties the national December record set in Hamilton, ON in 1982.
Also 20.7C in Summerland, 18.1C in Osoyoos, 17.9C in Salmon Arm, 17.8C in Kelowna U.#BCstorm pic.twitter.com/kjs25BkJ38
– Thierry Goose (@ThierryGooseBC) December 1, 2021
More than 500 dead victims of historic heat dome
In Penticton, the all-time high was 11.2 ° C in 2012, then the high was 22.5 ° C on Thursday. “So, it is sure that it is a record”, explained Gregory Yang, meteorologist at Environment Canada, to AFP. This region of the interior of British Columbia is also the region that suffered the effects of the historic heat dome this summer, which killed more than 500 people, followed by major fires. For about a week, an atmospheric river has been sweeping down southwestern British Columbia. Heavy rains have caused catastrophic flooding since mid-November in the province, events that have been linked to the effects of climate change by authorities.
Recent studies show the direct responsibility of climate change in certain heat waves. Thus, the extraordinary heatwave in Canada in June 2021, with temperatures approaching 50 ° C, would have been “almost impossible” without the warming, according to scientists from the World Weather Attribution. The unusual winter heat spread throughout the northwestern United States, where December heat records were broken or equaled on Wednesday at locations in Washington, Montana, Wyoming and of North Dakota. Temperatures there could be almost 20 degrees Celsius higher than normal.