Heat warnings continue for B.C.’s Southern Interior, 40 C forecast for Grand Forks

BC Afternoon Weather: July 31
The Friday, July 31, 2020 afternoon weather forecast for Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.

In a week-long trend, Environment Canada issued yet another heat warning for B.C.’s Southern Interior on Friday.

The national weather agency expects temperatures to reach 35 C, with overnight lows only dropping to 18 C.

“A strong ridge of high pressure remains over the Southern Interior of British Columbia, leading to hot conditions,” Environment Canada said in its warning.

“High temperatures will continue today.”

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Since Sunday, temperatures in the region have regularly exceeded 35 C.

Notably, FortisBC said it experienced a record-setting demand for electricity in the Okanagan and Kootenays on Thursday.

Fortis said customers used 651 megawatts of power, surpassing the previous summer record of 630 megawatts.

“The new record reflects the growing energy demand in these regions especially during the hottest days,” said Fortis, which expects electricity demand to remain high, with hot weather expected to continue through the weekend.

Read more: Canada’s top 5 temperature hot spots on Wednesday were all in B.C.

For Friday, temperatures in the Okanagan are expected to reach 36 to 37 C, with the Shuswap hitting 35 C. For Grand Forks, Environment Canada is predicting a high of 40 C.

All those regions are also facing a 30 per cent chance of showers.

Starting Saturday, though, the weather agency says temperatures will begin to moderate as the ridge of high pressure shifts east.

Kelowna Weather Forecast: July 30
Kelowna Weather Forecast: July 30

“However, temperatures will remain warm with daytime highs above 30 C expected through Sunday,” said Environment Canada, noting the Kootenays will continue to experience high temperatures through the weekend, then see temperatures moderate on Monday.

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Further, Environment Canada says there’s a risk of thunderstorms on Friday, courtesy of a destabilizing air mass.

“Given the recent hot and dry weather, lightning strikes will increase the potential for wildfire activity,” said Environment Canada.

Lightning show on Vancouver Island lights up the sky
Lightning show on Vancouver Island lights up the sky

B.C. Wildfire Service does its own weather forecasting and says it’s prepared for the long weekend, with fire crews on standby.

Provincial fire danger ratings from July 30, 2020.
Provincial fire danger ratings from July 30, 2020. B.C. Wildfire Service

And with fire danger ratings ranging between high and extreme for nearly all of southern B.C., B.C. Wildfire Service is also cautioning the public about fire safety.

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For more about fire danger ratings, click here.

Camping safety: the dangers of carbon monoxide
Camping safety: the dangers of carbon monoxide