“Not expecting a heatwave”: BC’s weather forecast for May long could be a mixed bag

The May long weekend is almost here, and your plans could be derailed by some unlucky weather. But what does the forecast suggest we will see this Victoria Day in BC?

It turns out that for a lot of BC, it will be perfect conditions for a sunburn and maybe even a dip in the lake. Places like Kelowna, Kamloops, and Victoria are all expected to hit above 20°C temperatures, and in the Okanagan and the interior, it could get even hotter.

Nan Lu, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, says, thankfully, it will be near-seasonal for most areas.

Vancouver is a bit cooler than those interior hot spots, with a high of 19°C expected for Saturday and Sunday. However, some clouds will block a perfect blue-bird day.

“We are not expecting a heatwave, for example. It will just be near seasonal, maybe just a few degrees the seasonal temperature of 16°C. But we are not seeing really hot weather for this weekend,” Lu explained. “Saturday should be dry,” she added, but there’s a small chance that Sunday and Monday could have some rain.

Plus, it’s not expected to be record-breaking in terms of heat. In order to do that, Vancouver would have to hit above 26.2°C, a record set in 1993 for May 18.

“We’re looking at dry and mainly sunny conditions for the Lower Mainland. Starting with Sunday and Monday, the uncertainty goes up each day. So Monday right now, it looks like we could see a mix of that cloud with a system pushing central BC, and we’ll be seeing the trailing end of that system,” Lu said.

Adding that different models show different things after Saturday, and overnight highs as low as 6°C.

If you do want to stay close to home and feel a bit more like a lizard, you will want to spend Sunday in Abbotsford, where it will be a smoking hot 23°C.

Enjoying some spring skiing? It’s set to be 20°C in Whistler.

“Saturday, it looks like most areas across BC, I guess, except Northwestern BC, central southern interior, and the South Coast look to be dry and mainly sunny, but that we do have a system near the Alaskan Panhandle that will bring some clouds and precipitation,” she explained. That system will move into central and northern BC, which could bring some showers.

“But southern BC and the south coast should be dry, but there could be some clouds.”

Monday, that system over central BC could bring showers to the southern interior.

Further north, where a wildfire is threatening the community of Fort Nelson, hopes for a significant rain event have been dashed at this time, according to the forecast.

But Lu adds that long-term precipitation is challenging, and there is a lot of uncertainty at this time.

So if you are planning to go for an early-season float or swim, be cautious.

“It’s still late spring so the water temperature is still cool even though sometimes the air temperature is hot, so for people going swimming, still be careful of hypothermia,” Lu warned.