Environment Canada issued special weather statements on Monday that said parts of the province could see high temperatures later this week.
A strengthening ridge of high pressure over B.C.’s Southern Interior could lead to temperatures in the mid- to high-30s, with the highest temperatures expected in the Fraser Canyon, Thompson-Okanagan, and the southern Kootenays.
The special weather statement was issued for the regions of Fraser Canyon, South Thompson, Nicola, Similkameen, Okanagan Valley, Shuswap, Boundary, West Kootenay, Kootenay Lake, East Kootenay, North Thompson and 100 Mile.
The hottest weather will be from Wednesday to Saturday, according to the Environment Canada statement, which went to say heat warnings may be issued for some regions in the days ahead.
Heat-related illness will be a concern, especially for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.
“This heat wave won’t produce as high temperatures as the heat dome we experienced late June,” Global News senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon said. “But considering the fire danger rating is already at its highest level in these regions, tacking on temperatures in the high 30s is very concerning. The risk of new fires being ignited and the intensity at which the current fires will burn will increase.
“The temperatures along the coast will be in the low 30s. A continued increase in fire activity is a concern. Plus, a period of outflow winds is likely during this heat wave, which will bring smoke from the Interior out to the coast.”
Large swaths of the province experienced record-breaking heat last month, including 49.6 C registered in Lytton, B.C., the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada. BC Hydro reported a 30-per-cent higher electricity demand compared to average.
More than 700 people died over a one-week period during the scorcher — three times more than would normally have been expected.
Another special weather statement for the coast calls for temperatures in the high 20s near the water and low 30s inland. That statement covers Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, East Vancouver Island, Inland Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria, Sunshine Coast, Whistler, Howe Sound, and the Southern Gulf Islands.
— With files from Kristi Gordon