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YVR records third-coldest October temperature on record

Air Canada planes sit parked at Vancouver International Airport
Air Canada planes sit parked at Vancouver International Airport

The chilly temperatures being felt across Metro Vancouver this weekend really have been unusual.

The Nav Canada weather station at Vancouver International Airport recorded a temperature of -4.6 degrees Celsius on Sunday morning, the third-coldest temperature recorded in October since records for that weather station began in 1937, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Lisa Erven.

The station’s automated reporting system on the Environment Canada website said it was -4.3 at 7 a.m., but the -4.6 recording came shortly after.

The lowest temperature felt in October at the airport’s weather station was -5.9 degrees on Oct. 31, 1984.

The next-coldest was -4.7 degrees on Oct. 29, 1991.

The previous low for Oct. 25 was -2.2 degrees, recorded in 1952.

Erven pointed out that Environment Canada runs its own weather station elsewhere on Sea Island and while it didn’t dip quite as low as the Nav Canada station recorded, they also were still close to a record low.

The Environment Canada temperature sensor recorded a low of -3 degrees, which was just shy of the record: -3.3 degrees, set in 1919.

“The bottom line here is we’re into a very cold pattern for this time of year,” she said.

Two cold fronts converged Friday night and Saturday to create this unique conditions, sending temperatures plunging across the province.

“First it was an Arctic front that descended through the interior of B.C. on Friday and then hit the coast on Friday night,” she explained. “Meanwhile a low pressure system skirted down west Vancouver Island and into Washington state.”

There were snow records set in many parts of the interior and snow even fell on the North Shore mountains, sticking in some places as low as 300 metres above sea level.

“If this were February, this would be an ideal snow-maker here in Vancouver, but we’re only in October so we really only saw snowflakes at higher elevations,” she said.

The cold air is expected to remain in the area for the next few days but will then push off to the south east towards Idaho.

“Early to mid next week we’ll be back into the milder temperatures we’re used to,” Erven said.

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