Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for parts of Vancouver Island including Greater Victoria in advance of an incoming heat wave.
Temperatures above 29 degrees Celsius are expected for the next four days, reaching a maximum of 32 degrees in Greater Victoria Saturday, the weather agency said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, overnight lows will reach nearly 16 degrees Celsius for the same stretch of time.
In Nanaimo, things will get even hotter, with temperatures expected to reach 33 degrees Celsius by Thursday.
On Vancouver Island, the heat warning was issued for Greater Victoria, eastern Vancouver Island inland Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. It also extends to much of Metro Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.
Environment Canada says the heat wave will be brought about by a “strong ridge” of high pressure that is beginning to develop Tuesday. It will reach “maximum strength” by Thursday and Friday.
Lisa Lapointe, the province’s chief coroner, recently reported that between June 20 to July 29, a total of 569 people died as a result of the extreme heat and that 79 per cent of those were aged 65 and older — the majority of them living alone.
Since the B.C. Coroners Service released its findings, provincial and local health officials are reminding people to check in on our older population.
“More people who are older are going to have serious outcomes from overheated bodies and dehydrated bodies, and we certainly saw that when we look at where the fatalities were over our last heat wave,” says Isobel Mackenzie, from B.C. Seniors Advocates.
“We certainly found that in the heat wave we experienced at the end of June, a lot of people could have potentially benefitted if somebody had gotten to them a little sooner.”
The weather agency warns that the potential for heat-related illness will be increased during this time and people should drink plenty of water, stay in a cool place and check on older family, friends and neighbours. Pet owners should not leave their animals inside a parked vehicle.