Last weekend’s heat wave broke the islands temperature record for August.
The Ministry of Forests recorded a high temperature of 27.3 degrees Celsius August 14 at the Honna recording station, said Brian Eccles, Engineering officer with the ministry. The previous record was 26.7 degrees Celsius August 5, 1952 in Sandspit.
The hottest temperature ever recorded on the islands was only half a degree hotter, 27.8 degrees on July 28, 1971.
Along with high temperatures, the northwest wind dried out the islands, said Mr. Eccles. The relative humidity dropped below 50-percent on August 13, 14 and 16, and only hit 52-percent on the 15th.
The rainstorm that broke Monday night will help reduce the fire hazard, said Mr. Eccles, but only slightly. By last weekend, the fire hazard rating for the islands was high, but after the rain it dropped to moderate. The rain has only moistened the top centimetre of the forest though, he said, and it could quickly dry out again. With the underlying soil still dusty and dry, fire remains a hazard for the islands, as it likely will until the fall storms begin.