Hot temperatures and smoky air put a damper on attendance, but not spirit, at the Sept. 6 evening edition of Trail Market on the Esplanade. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Summer carried through first half of September

The mean monthly temperature was 16.4 C which is almost 2 degrees warmer than normal

The B.C. summer carried through the first two weeks of September and set two new high temperature records.

“As was the case during the past two months, a strong upper ridge of high pressure maintained unseasonably warm and generally dry conditions during the initial 12 days of September,” local forecaster Ron Lakeman reports.

The average monthly temperature was 16.4 C, or 2 degrees warmer than normal, though the record still stands at 18.4 C set in 1967.

The warmest day of the month was 36.2 C recorded the afternoon of Sept. 3, which didn’t beat the all time high of 36.8 C set back on the day in 2003.

A new record daily maximum of 32.1 C was set on Sept. 8.

Notably, the total monthly rainfall was 10.6 millimetres (mm) or 25 per cent of the usual amount of September precipitation.

From July through September, total rainfall was 20.4 mm or 17 per cent of the usual three month total.

Temperatures fell the last two weeks as a few weakening disturbances pushed across southern B.C., Lakeman added.

“The only rainfall of any significance fell during the night of Sept. 19 and the night of the 20th.”

Lack of rain and hot temperatures has the summer 2017 on record as the worst wildfire season in the province’s history.

More than 1.2 million hectares have burned since April 1, surpassing the previous mark set in 1958, when 855,000 burned.

The arid climate had the Southeast Fire Centre banning campfires from early July through to Sept. 22 as well as recreational vehicles on Crown land during most of that stretch.

On the last day of the month, the centre lifted prohibition on Category 2 fires (one to two burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide) due to a decreased risk of wildfire, though larger open fires remain prohibited throughout the Southeast region.

The most recent local wildfire was in Castlegar on Friday afternoon. The interface fire was east of the train tracks near Sixth Avenue and Second Street, and was quickly extinguished by the Castlegar Fire Department.

The source was thought to be human-caused as a stone fire pit was located near the charred area and several members of the public reported seeing a transient male frequenting vicinity.

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