B.C. heat wave dubbed ‘dangerous’ as more hot temperatures expected Monday on Vancouver Island

B.C. heat wave dubbed 'dangerous' as more hot temperatures expected Monday on Vancouver Island
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Environment Canada continues to issue weather warnings Monday across British Columbia as the recent long-duration heatwave is now being dubbed as ‘dangerous.’

On Monday, Environment Canada says daytime highs ranging from 33 to 43 degrees celsius combined with overnight lows of 18 to 22 degrees Celsius are expected in multiple areas including Greater Victoria, Sunshine Coast, Southern Gulf Islands, East Vancouver Island, and Inland Vancouver Island.

Along with the daytime highs, humidex values during this period will reach the mid 40’s, according to the weather agency.

Sixty temperature records fell Sunday in B.C., including in the Village of Lytton, where the mercury reached 46.6 C — breaking the all-time Canadian high of 45 C, set in Saskatchewan in 1937.

Environment Canada warns the “prolonged, dangerous, and historic heat wave” could ease as early as Tuesday on B.C.’s south coast and in Yukon, but won’t relent until mid-week, or early next week, elsewhere.

Forecasters say humid conditions could make it feel close to 50 C in B.C.’s Fraser Valley on Monday, and area raspberry growers say any cooling by Tuesday may come too late for their heat-ravaged crops, with one farm posting on social media that its season is likely over before a single berry has been picked.

“An exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure over British Columbia has resulted in record-breaking temperatures,” reads a statement from Environment Canada.

“The duration of this heat wave is concerning as there is little relief at night with elevated overnight temperatures. This record-breaking heat event will increase the potential for heat-related illnesses.”

Meterologists are dubbing the current weather conditions a ‘heat dome’, which is not only trapping heat but pollution, visible as a haze across Greater Victoria.

“The reason you have never felt this type of heat before is because it has never happened before,” said Armel Castellan, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“[It’s] a ridge that is essentially so strongly blocked it’s not moving, and it happens to be a part of climate change,” he said.

Like most heat waves before it, Castellan says this one will wind down as Pacific air starts to flow back in to the coast Tuesday but he says with climate change there’s little doubt we will see this again.

“It’s not to say extreme events didn’t always happen it’s just that now we have them happening at a higher frequency, higher amplitude and longer lasting,” he said.

Environment Canada is advising Vancouver Islanders to drink plenty of water even before they feel thirsty and stay in a cool place.

The weather agency also suggests watching for symptoms of heat-illness which include dizziness/fainting; nausea/vomiting; rapid breathing and heartbeat; extreme thirst; decreased urination with unusually dark urine.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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