Temperatures are going to be heating up in the region this week, as highs of up to 36 degrees are being forecasted by Environment Canada.
According to Alyssa Charbonneau, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, temperatures are expected to peak on Thursday and Friday with highs in the mid-30s.
Charbonneau says a ridge of high pressure has built up over the southern BC Interior, which is trapping in heat.
“When you have this wide area of high pressure, it ends up kind of acting like a lid in the atmosphere, so it suppresses air from rising up and mixing,” Charbonneau said. “It tends to end up with widespread areas of dry air, no cloud as opposed to when you have a widespread area of rising air that often forms clouds.
“So they tend to be sunny and they also tend to act like a lid in that it keeps the air stagnant and in place, and even can be pushing air downwards. So that, in the summer when we have lots of light coming in, helps trap the energy coming in as well as the ridge itself, in the action that it plays in pressing the air down, can help heat build up as well.”
The forecasting models haven’t predicted exactly how long the high temperatures are expected to last, however, it could stretch into the weekend, Charbonneau added.
“Certainly it looks like after the heat peaks on Thursday/Friday, next week does look like it cools down a little bit,” Charbonneau said, “but there’s still a bit of uncertainty as to what exactly will happen as it cools down. Some models are keeping it dry, while others are hinting that we could see maybe some thunderstorms develop.”
As temperatures begin to soar, Environment Canada is also warning people to stay cool and be aware of health related illnesses.
Those most vulnerable to high temperatures include young children, pregnant women, the elderly, those working or exercising in the heat, people with chronic illnesses, people living alone in un-air-conditioned homes, and the homeless.
Drink plenty of water even before you feel thirsty and stay in a cool place, and never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle.
In Cranbrook, the Alliance Church is opening up their foyer to senior citizens Monday to Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. to ‘Retreat from the Heat’.
Adults are welcome to come to the church, where will be quiet couches for reading while activities such as board games, puzzles, crossword puzzles and Word Find will be provided.
Iced water, tea and cookies will also be available free of charge.