B.C.’s run of sweltering hot days continued Thursday with more records broken, this time largely in the Southern Interior.
There were 13 July 28 records broken and one tied. Most were by just a fraction of a degree, though the heat is expected to continue to build across the southern parts of the province until Monday.
Seasonal temperatures are expected to return on Tuesday, Environment Canada said in an updated heat warning that covers the bulk of the province.
In Kelowna, the temperature soared to 38.7 C breaking an old record of 37.2 C set in 1934. Vernon saw a high temperature of 37.6 C, breaking a record of 37.2 C, also set in 1934.
Penticton’s record of 37.8 from 1934 was broken too, with Thursday’s high sneaking up to 37.9 C.
Osoyoos tied its 1996 record with a high temperature of 41.2 C. In Princeton, the high temperature was 38 C, a rise from 37.8 C set in 1994.
Lytton, which in 2021 broke Canada’s all-time hottest day record when the mercury rose to 49.5 C, broke a daily record on Thursday with a high temperature of 41.1 C, breaking its previous record of 40.6 C set in 2009. It is just starting the recovery process from wildfires last year that razed the historic town.
The following records were set:
- At 37 C Thursday, Blue River broke a 1998 record of 36 C
- Clearwater saw a new high of 39.2 C up from 38.5 C set in 1998
- Clinton set a new record of 34.5 C breaking its old record of 33
- Dawson Creek saw a new high of 32.5 C, breaking an old record of 30 C set in 1937
- MacKenzie saw a record of 33.4 C set breaking a record of 32.9 C in 2009
- Port Hardy saw a record of 24.1 C set, a rise from 23.9 set in 2021
- Sparwood record a new high of 33.1 C.
Cooling centres have opened in cities from Victoria to Vernon and points beyond.
In some cases they’re just already open public spaces beckoning people in and in others, there are misting stations or water parks encouraging people to come cool off.
Earlier this year heat emergencies were the province’s Alert Ready system, which issues public safety alerts through TV and radio broadcasters, as well as mobile devices, for floods, wildfires, potential tsunamis and Amber Alerts.
The province has been under intense pressure in the wake of hundreds of people dying in last June’s heat dome when, according to the report, temperatures rose above 40 C in many parts of the province.
In its report, the coroners service says it investigated more than 800 deaths during the week of June 25 to July 1, 2021, and later found 619 to have been heat-related.