British Columbia’s capital region recorded its hottest day of the year on Saturday.
Victoria hit 35.2 C on the afternoon of June 26, making it the hottest June day record and beating the previous record of 35 C set in 1925.
It comes amid a scorching heat wave that has been cooking the Island and is expected continue through the weekend, with temperatures and humidex readings expected to be above 40 C.
With unprecedented blistering heat, people are urged to check in on some of the most vulnerable — seniors.
“They simply don’t have the physiological ability to respond to hot weather,” said Terry Lake, chief executive officer of BC Care Providers Association.
Meteorologist Tyler Hamilton warns the worst is yet to come.
He explained the cause of the heat wave is a “heat dome,” an unusually strong ridge of high pressure over the province that has trapped warm air.
This heat dome creates a hot spell in most parts of the province, resembling temperatures seen in hot climate areas, such as northern Mexico, Nevada and Arizona.
“You can think of just moving the distribution of the temperatures ahead a couple degrees. So, a temperature that used to be a 37 or 38 in the Port Alberni Valley is now 40 degrees because of climate change,” said Hamilton.
He said it’s a pattern that can be seen within the last decade — more frequent, scorching, longer-lasting heat waves, and that trend is expected to continue with broader impacts.
“It can create a strain on our hospital system – will notice an uptick in heat-related illnesses,” he said, adding it can also impact the agricultural sector and lead to water shortages and forest fires.
To beat the record-busting heat and avoid getting baked under the sun, people are urged to find cool areas and stay hydrated.
The heat is here to stay for the next several days.