Above-average seasonal heat is on the way for B.C.

Click to play video: 'Provincial summer weather preparation plan'
Provincial summer weather preparation plan
Ahead of the arrival of summer weather the B.C. government is making more free portable air conditioners available for seniors and those in need, and reminding people to look after vulnerable loved ones. Janet Brown reports. – May 31, 2024

With the start of summer just three weeks away, B.C. government officials held a press conference Friday morning as the province prepares for wildfire season.

An Environment Canada meteorologist, Armel Castellan, shed light on weather projections for the coming months, and the national weather agency is depicting a hot summer.

Click to play video: 'Prepare for summer heat, B.C.’s provincial health officer cautions'
Prepare for summer heat, B.C.’s provincial health officer cautions

According to projections, the seasonal outlook for June, July and August indicate a “high probability” of above normal temperatures, especially for B.C.’s Interior.

Story continues below advertisement

Currently, most of B.C. is experiencing a two-year rain deficit, which is impacting drought conditions.

According to the government’s drought map, most of the province is under Drought Level 1 (adverse impacts are rare) and Level 2 (adverse impacts unlikely) conditions. However, the northeastern section of B.C. is under Level 4 and Level 5.

Adverse impacts are both likely and almost certain in those areas.

The province announced it has expanded it free portable air conditioner program to reach 19,000 more households.

Click to play video: 'BC will help seniors buy an air conditioner'
BC will help seniors buy an air conditioner

It has also added to improvements for long-term care and assisted living homes for climate impacts through a $6 million grant.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

Extreme heat warnings will also be added to highway signs around the province to help keep people informed.

Story continues below advertisement

B.C has also developed new guidelines to clarify rules around installing AC units and better support renters and landlords to work together to safely install AC units, where possible.

Click to play video: 'A look at B.C.’s rain forecast and deficit heading into summer 2024'
A look at B.C.’s rain forecast and deficit heading into summer 2024

For June, the first week is predicted to be cooler than normal across the province. But after that, month is predicted to be above normal seasonal averages.

Rain will be focused more on the coast in the first week of June, but in B.C.’s Interior, it is expected to have below normal precipitation as the month unfolds.

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, also referenced the new BC Provincial Health Alert and Response system that has been put in place for 2024.

The BCCDC worked with Environment Canada, Health Canada, and B.C. health authorities to establish heat alert thresholds for the entire province.

Story continues below advertisement

The provincial health alert and response system was developed, referencing a Health Canada heat alert guidebook, and it incorporates national and international best practices from other jurisdictions.

Weather alerts, warnings and risks will be posted and pushed by Environment Canada.

The health alert and response system is a two-tier heat-alert and response system that issues notices for heat warnings and extreme-heat emergencies to provide important information to people in B.C.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said work has been done to increase response times for ambulances, especially in rural areas when it comes to heat and emergency responses.

He said there are now more than 3,000 ambulance workers at 200 ambulance stations in the province. The government also added 15 new staff at its emergency response team.

Environment Canada said it will only know of individual weather events “in the days leading up to them.”

The province is urging residents to stay informed and up-to-date when it comes to weather conditions.

Officials said people can stay better informed if they use the official Environment Canada weather app.

They also said to be prepared for hot weather. British Columbians need to be aware of the most vulnerable in their families and communities and to look out for each other.

Story continues below advertisement

Overheating can be extremely dangerous for those most vulnerable.

Click to play video: 'Study: climate change intensified heat dome of 2021'
Study: climate change intensified heat dome of 2021

Sponsored content