Heat wave settles in over Vancouver Island; temps in mid-30s expected


Port Alberni is one of the usual hot spots when heat hits Vancouver Island, and Sunday was no different as afternoon temperatures reached 34 by dinnertime.

On top of that, Environment Canada was reporting a “feels like” temperature of 39 C due to humidity.

“I don’t like it that much, but I like going for swims, but yeah, we’re getting pretty used to it,” said Joanna Stangowitz, who was cooling off with her daughter in the Somass River.

Lake Cowichan and Gold River will join Port Alberni as at least three central Island communities hit 34 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, as this Mid-August heat wave settles in.

“A ridge of high pressure has moved up from the south and brought a warm air mass to the province, and that’s where we’re seeing temperatures anywhere from 8 to 10 or even 12 degrees above normal for this time of year,” Environment Canada Meteorologist Lisa Erven told CHEK News Sunday.

Heat warnings have been posted for East Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Temperatures across Vancouver Island are expected to cool down only slightly by week’s end. On the Island’s north end, Port Hardy will only see 22 C and drizzle on Monday.

Island Health has a few suggestions to beat the heat and stay safe, such as:

  • Drink plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated, even when not thirsty.
  • Spray your body with water, wear a damp shirt, take a cool shower or bath or sit with part of your body in water to cool down.
  • Take it easy, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Stay in the shade and use broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
  • Take immediate action to cool down if you are overheating. Signs of overheating include feeling unwell, headache and dizziness. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, severe headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst and dark urine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek a cooler environment, drink plenty of water, rest and use water to cool your body.
  • Signs of heat stroke include loss of consciousness, disorientation, confusion, severe nausea or vomiting and very dark urine or no urine. Heat stroke is a medical emergency.
  • In the event of a medical emergency, call 911.

Meanwhile, places like Tofino and Victoria might not reach the 30s, but temperatures will reach the high 20s.

Environment Canada says this heat spell won’t measure up to the heat dome of 2021 because this is later in the summer, with longer nights to cool down the atmosphere.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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