Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of B.C. including most of the major population centres, as the first hot stretch of summer is expected, beginning on the weekend.
The Wednesday morning (June 22) warning comes after an unseasonably cool, wet spring.
On Saturday (June 25), temperatures will reach into the upper 20C’s, before increasing to low-to-mid 30C’s on Sunday and into early next week. Overnight lows will fall to the mid-teens, according to Environment Canada.
With elevated temperatures, the risk of heat related illnesses increase as well as an increase in snowmelt and snowpack instability, noted Environment Canada. Increased stream flows due to run-off are possible.
Temperatures are expected to return to near-normal values by the middle of next week as a cooler, unsettled airmass pushes onshore.
Last summer, a heat dome caused the deaths of more than 600 residents in B.C., prompting the provincial government to launch a heat alert system this year. The system will have two levels: warning and extreme heat emergencies. They’ll be issued based on regional temperature thresholds.
Sudden heat also increases the risk of flooding throughout the province. The cooler spring means record-high snowpacks remain in several areas of B.C., which could unleash a torrent of water if melted quickly, according to the River Forecast Centre.
Environment Canada voiced a similar warning Wednesday.
“Freezing levels rise throughout this event and will lead to an increase in snowmelt and snowpack instability. Increased stream flows due to run-off are possible,” it said.