Island heat wave forecast for the far future


WATCH: It’s hot outside and is going to stay that way until next week. And experts say to prepare to get used to it as the climate is changing everywhere, including Vancouver Island. Mary Griffin explains. 

Salvation Army volunteers Patricia Mamic and Pat Humble are armed with water bottles and sunscreen this summer.

Mamic approaches one man sitting in the shade on Friday, where you can still feel the heat.

“How are you faring in the heat?”

Gord McDonald took off his sunglasses, showing a burned face, and nose.  In need of sunscreen, he takes up Mamic’s offer of sunscreen.

“Not very many people turn it down right. I think they are very surprised, and like you say, very appreciative,” Mamic said.

“Wherever we are, whatever place we’re in, we’ll just keep doing that.”

Last week, Environment Canada issued heat warnings for much of the island that remain in place.

That is a sign that the climate here is changing, according to Faron Anslow, a climatologist with the University of Victoria’s Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium.

“So these temperatures that we have now of maybe 30 degrees here in Victoria today, that will kind of a normal day in the future,” Anslow said.  “And then the heat waves will be even warmer than that.”

Those heat waves will last longer. Not just a few days, but weeks.

Some scientists predict dramatic changes for the island in the decades to come.

“The far future, our summers are going to be more like southern California where you’ve got earlier springs, you’ve got later fall, and you have a much longer summer,” Anslow said.

During these dog days of summer, it’s important to keep cool by seeking shade, by any means, and keep hydrated.

And for those who can’t, there are options.

“We have our Hope Van that we are able to mobilize anytime whenever there is extreme weather conditions hit, so in addition to shelters, and spaces indoors,” Mamic said.

If you would like to help The Salvation Army with donations of water, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, call the Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre at 250-384-3396 or the Stan Hagen Centre for Families at 250-386-8521.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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