Nanaimo might be on the cusp of meteorological spring, but Old Man Winter isn’t seeing himself out the door quietly.
A temperature drop from cold air out of the Arctic plunged thermometers and dumped snow last week and over the weekend. Environment Canada staff are still compiling weather data for February and for the winter season, but one of the statistics on hand was the record-shattering low of -12.9 Celsius recorded at Nanaimo Airport on Friday, Feb. 24.
“That was a record and the only record that beat it – and this is why it’s so significant – was on the first four days of the month,” said Armel Castellan, Environment Canada meteorologist. “Obviously, you’d expect the first several days of February to be much colder than the last half of the month and, sure enough -12.9, for overall temperatures … From the fifth [of February] onward, -12.9 C has never been seen in the period of records.”
Thursday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 25, each logged low daily temperatures of -7.4 C.
“Those were in the top five, but they weren’t record-breaking,” Castellan said. “In fact … last year, 2022, Feb. 23 was -7.5 C, it was the previous record for Feb. 23 and that’s interesting because that’s two years in a row with temperatures quite cool, in fact record-breaking.”
Environment Canada forecasts that the temperature will go as low as -4 C today, Feb. 28.