Records to fall in Victoria as heat wave settles over southern B.C.

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Daily records in Victoria will be broken by five to seven degrees as a sweltering heat wave continues across Vancouver Island and much of B.C., says an Environment Canada meteorologist.

Overnight lows will even be higher than normal maximum temperatures, and overall the area is in for weather that’s more than 15 degrees above the seasonal average, according to Armel Castellan.

Environment Canada forecasts that Victoria will hit 37 degrees on Monday — which would be an all-time record.

Source: Environment Canada.

“Usually we’re at 20, 21 degrees near the water like this on the south coast,” said Castellan.

It’ll be so hot this weekend and into Monday, records are expected to fall across all of the provinces, and not just daily ones.

“We might even see all-time records including July, August, and September for some locations,” he said. “That’s how extreme this pattern is setting up to be.”

It’s happening due to a ridge of very high pressure creating a “heat dome” centred over much of southern B.C.

“We’re going to be seeing this for many days, well into next week. and then perhaps beyond,” said Castellan. “We are going to eventually cool off, but it’s going to be very gradual.”

The spiking temperatures have places like Port Alberni, where thermometers are forecast to hit a high of 40 degrees on Monday, setting up cooling centres and handing out bottled water to residents.

Officials are warning people to stay vigilant against heat-related illness and to check on neighbours, friends and especially older people during the temperature spike.

“They simply don’t have the physiological ability to respond to hot weather,” said Terry Lake, CEO of BC Care Providers Association. “When you are talking about people with cognitive decline, whether it’s dementia or Alzheimer’s for instance, they  may not understand that they are over-heating and not seek help.”

The incoming scorching heat also has animal advocates like Victoria Humane Society executive director Penny Stone worried for pets.

“The animals here are not used to it and can’t cope. It’s way beyond anything they can cope with, and people need to really be aware of the hot pavement, and the hot deck,” said Stone.

“Be really careful because these animals can’t regulate their bodies the way we can, so they can’t regulate the heat. So it’s really important that we take care of them and do what’s right for them.”

Stone said pets in heat distress will pant and act erratically, while others might simply lay down and others will begin having seizures.

In advance of the hot weather, the province has issued open burning bans in all fire centres, though campfires are still permitted.

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