July 22nd, 2024

Environment Canada issues multiple warnings as B.C. braces for weekend heat

By The Canadian Press on July 4, 2024.

A man cools off at a temporary misting station deployed by the city in the Downtown Eastside due to a heat wave, in Vancouver on August 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – Environment Canada has issued a series of heat warnings for British Columbia stretching into next week, with parts of the province forecast to reach “very high temperatures” beginning Friday.

The six warnings span Vancouver Island, where they will be in effect from Friday until early next week, and the North Coast including Kitimat and Terrace, where the warnings will be in place from Saturday until Tuesday night.

Environment Canada says temperatures on the island are expected to reach the low 30s with night-time lows about 16 C while the North Coast is being told to expect temperatures near 30 C with lows around 13 C.

The weather agency says a high pressure ridge building over East Vancouver Island will usher in a hot weekend, presenting a “moderate” public health risk before more seasonal weather returns mid-week.

There are also special weather statements for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, predicting above-seasonal temperatures well into next week.

Environment Canada says risks associated with high heat are elevated for seniors and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and mental health and addiction issues.

The heat warnings say to watch for signs of heat illness including heavy sweating, rashes, and fainting, urging people to check in on friends and neighbours who may be at greater risk, especially if they live by themselves.

The BC Centre for Disease Control says heat waves are expected to “become more frequent, longer, and hotter” in the province due to climate change.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2024.

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