Heat wave expected to move through southern B.C. next week

Heat wave expected to move through southern B.C. next week
People hit the beach in an effort to beat the heat in southern British Columbia.

Cooler spring and summer temperatures are expected to end this week as a heat wave moves through southern British Columbia.

Environment Canada said a strong ridge of high pressure is building, which is going to bring clear skies and very warm temperatures over the next few days.

The forecast shows Victoria warming up to 30 C beginning on Tuesday and lasting through Thursday, with a small cool down to 28 degrees heading into the B.C. Day long weekend.

“That’s going to be inland a bit, mainly in North Saanich,” Gregg Walters, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said. “If you are getting closure to the water, the highs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday should only be about 25.”

Walters said this weather is bound to bring people out to beaches, parks and splash pads to enjoy and cool off. He said that’s great as long as residents remember to stay hydrated and wear lots of sunscreen.

“It would also be a good idea to avoid going too much in the sun during the mid-day period. That’s when the ultraviolet radiation is at it’s highest,” said Walters.

While residents who spoke to CHEK News said they’re excited to play in the pool and eat ice cream through the heat, the Office of Seniors Advocates said warmer temperatures like this can be dangerous for seniors.

Isobel Mackenzie, the province’s seniors advocate, said older bodies react to the heat differently than younger bodies.

“The thermal-regulating process of our bodies starts to degrade as we get older, so we don’t perspire as much,” Mackenzie said. “That means the 90-year-old may not realize how hot they are versus you would now that you feel uncomfortably hot and do something about it.”

She is encouraging people to check-in on their elderly friends and family daily during this heat wave to ensure they are staying healthy, adding it’s best to check in person to ensure their bodies aren’t overheating.

If someone is experiencing unusual confusion, vomiting or lethargy, you are asked to immediately call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

Mackenzie said it’s also important to make sure a senior’s home is staying cool by closing windows and blinds until the evening, and running an air conditioner if available.

If that doesn’t work, she said the senior should be moved to a colder location.

“Maybe during the heat of the day shopping malls, recreation centers or your own home if it’s cooler,” Mackenzie added.

Environment Canada said the heat wave is temporary, adding this is not the start of a heat dome.

Temperatures are expected to cool to the more seasonal mid-20s by next week.

Environment Canada is recommended people wear sunscreen as temperatures are expected to climb next week. (CHEK News)

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