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Here comes the sun

Weather prognosticators say Victoria is in for one hot summer
Alex Spence ... likes the warm weather.
Alex Spence ... likes the warm weather

Fear not Victoria, a warm, dry summer is on the way.

Weather forecasters are predicting above-normal temperatures and less rainfall along B.C.’s south coast this summer.

“The combination of high pressure and above-normal sea surface temperatures in the northeast Pacific will lead to a slightly warmer-than-normal summer with reduced chances of rainfall,” said the season forecast from Accu-Weather, a for-profit weather forecasting service.

The prediction is good news for those who make their living in Victoria and depend on good weather.

First Nation carver Alex Spence spends most of his days along the Inner Harbour honing his craft. He notices a change of attitude from people when the sun shines.

“People are friendlier when it’s warmer,” he says. “They love their hot weather here. We’re very fortunate.”

Ben Duthie, spokesperson for Prince of Whales, says warm weather has a huge impact on whale watching, although whales can be found in Juan de Fuca Strait anytime of the year.

“If the sun comes out early our phone starts ringing by 9:30 and never quits. If it’s cloudy people are more reluctant.”

Prince of Whales runs four to five trips a day in late spring. The numbers increase threefold in July and August, says Duthie.

“You can’t beat the warm weather.”

Victoria boasts the highest average maximum temperature in Canada at 15.3 C. and the highest average minimum at 7.1 C. The city records 2,109 hours of sunshine every year and is blessed with 308 sunny days.

Paul Nursey, president and CEO of Tourism Victoria, says while sunny, warm weather is a surprise when tourists visit here, it doesn’t draw them to the city.

“Customers choose to come to the destination because they have a strong connection and want to come. Weather doesn’t go into their decision, but it’s great for their experiences and their memories,” he adds.

Mayor Dean Fortin isn’t surprised Victoria will see a brighter summer this year. It fits the city’s psyche, he says.

“It reflects the personality of Victorians; Sunny personalities – always bringing comfort and joy.”

Victorians may have to wait a few days for that sunny weather to appear. Environment Canada is predicting cloudy weather over the Victoria long weekend with highs of 17 C.