People sun themselves at Kitsilano Beach as temperatures reached highs into the 20s according to Environment Canada, in Vancouver, on Saturday, May 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Many B.C. communities hit record high temperatures just before COVID rules relax

Hotter weather has led to concerns about physical distancing

Many B.C. communities broke temperature records on Sunday, according to Environment Canada.

The Abbotsford area hit a new high of 29 C, beating a record of 27.7 C set in 2019. Further into the Fraser Valley, the Hope area reached 30.2 C, beating a record of 28.4 C set in 2019. North along the Sea-to-Sky, Squamish saw temperatures of 30.1 C, beating out 28 C set in 2019, while White Rock, the southern edge of the Lower Mainland, hit 29.1 C, up from 26.7 C in 1941.

On the central coast, Bella Bella hit a new record of 25.2 C, above a 2019 record of 2019. Nearby, Prince Rupert hit 24.4 C beating a record of 23 C set in 2005. In Haida Gwaii, the Sandspit area saw a comparatively chilly high of 17.3 C, up from 17.2 C set in 1968.

Multiple records were broken on Vancouver Island, including two in Comox and Courtnenay at 26.6 C, beating out 25.6 from 1968. At the Island’s northern tip, the Port Hardy area hit a new high of 23.6 C, beating out 21.1 C set in 1968.

A variety of records were broken in the Victoria area, with the highest temperatures recorded in Esquimalt, Gonzales Point, Victoria Harbour and the University of Victoria at 27.8 C.

The overall high temperatures saw British Columbians head outdoors, sparking concerns about physical distancing as the weather warms up. Many of these concerns centred around Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach, which did not beat records but did see temperatures in the 20s.

B.C. is set to loosen some COVID-19 restrictions on May 14, including opening up day-use of its provincial parks and allowing people to expand their “pandemic bubble” to around six people.

READ MORE: British Columbians can double their ‘pandemic bubble’ mid-May, but no large gatherings

READ MORE: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to re-open parts of society


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