Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley haven't yet had the usual streak of hot summer weather that sends throngs to local beaches.

Cool summer keeps pollution and fires down

Dearth of 30-degree days means no air quality alerts for the Lower Mainland

A cooler than normal summer has put a damper on holiday fun but it’s also left many Lower Mainland residents breathing easier.

No air quality warnings have been issued this year, due to an absence of hot weather in the Lower Mainland and an unusually low number of forest fires in the B.C. Interior.

By this time last year, two air quality advisories had been issued spanning a total of six days.

The hottest weather so far was last weekend – 30.6 degrees in Abbotsford Saturday and 27.4 in Vancouver.

But that was the first time Abbotsford topped 30 so far in 2011, according to Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones, adding there would usually be about seven 30-plus days by now.

“That’s quite unusual,” he said. “It’s been a long cold spring, a slow start to summer and a total absence of hot spells.”

The cooler weather has been widespread throughout B.C., he said, adding that’s helped keep forest fires down and helped with air quality in Metro Vancouver.

“You need heat waves and big ridges of unchanging stagnant air to get air quality issues,” Jones said. “And you need long stretches of hot dry air to create fire risk. We just haven’t had either of those this year.”

Metro Vancouver air quality planner Julie Saxton said ozone concentrations tend to build when it’s hot and there’s lots of sunshine.

Last year’s advisories were driven mainly by fine particulate from wildfire smoke, she added.

“We’ve been very lucky this summer that we haven’t had poor air quality affecting us,” she said, but added a hot spell could still develop between now and mid-September.

It’s the slowest year in at least the last 10 for wildfires, according to B.C.’s fire information centre.

So far 469 fires have burned 11,782 hectares. An average year sees B.C. fight nearly 2,000 fires and lose almost 100,000 hectares.

As a result, B.C. has sent nearly 2,000 firefighters out of province this year to assist with fires in Ontario, Alberta and Alaska.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Story of ‘A Mother’s Journey to Adoption’ told in book by first-time Surrey author

In the 1990s, Raj Arneja and husband Gurpreet adopted two children in India

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Proposed White Rock development a ‘nightmare’ for Elm Street neighbours

Density, traffic, loss of views among chief concerns of residents

Surrey council to consider a $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This is expected to come before council during tonight’s council meeting, on Monday July 13.

Surrey’s rink reopening plan forces skaters elsewhere, councillor says

Several private rinks are already open across Metro Vancouver

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Most Read