Environment Canada has issued another heat warning for the Okanagan, just days after a reprieve from unprecedented record-shattering temperatures in late June and early July.
The national weather service says a heat wave “less aggressive” than the previous historic heat wave will affect part of the B.C. Interior this week, including the South Okanagan and Boundary regions.
Daytime highs will range from 35 to 38 C combined with overnight lows near 18 C through Wednesday.
“Above seasonal daytime temperatures and elevated overnight temperatures will mean little relief from the heat,” Environment Canada said in its public alert.
“This heat event will increase the potential for heat-related illnesses.”
Interior Health says excessive heat exposure can lead to weakness, disorientation and exhaustion.
In severe cases, it can also lead to heatstroke, also known as sunstroke. Heatstroke can be a life-threatening medical emergency.
“Interior Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics have plans in place to mitigate heat while waiting for immunization appointments,” the regional health authority said in an emailed statement.
“Interior Health medical health officers advise that risks from extreme heat exceed risks from COVID-19.”
Health officials encourage anyone without access to air conditioning to find cooler indoor alternatives.
Interior Health says cooling centres will be coordinated by municipalities and no one should be denied access to these centres because of concerns related to crowding or physical distancing, and if people are wearing a mask and have difficulty breathing, they should remove the mask, whether they are indoors or outside.
A special weather statement has been issued for the Central and North Okanagan, including Kelowna and Vernon.
“A ridge of high-pressure building over B.C. will result in a period of elevated temperatures today through Wednesday,” the statement said.
“Daytime highs reaching 34 to 37 degrees Celsius combined with overnight lows near 17 degrees Celsius are expected.”
Meanwhile, a special air quality statement and smoky skies bulletin remains in effect for the Okanagan due to wildfire smoke.
Several wildfires are burning in the Okanagan valley, including the 500-hectare Thomas Creek wildfire near Okanagan Falls, which has prompted evacuation orders and alerts, and the Becker Lake wildlife near Vernon, which has resulted in an evacuation alert.
Several communities in B.C.’s Southern Interior smashed daily high-temperature records in late June as Environment Canada warned of a dangerous, prolonged heatwave across most of the province and Alberta