Many parts of B.C. are now in the midst of what Environment Canada is calling “a significant heat wave.”
Temperatures will remain high until Sunday morning, with highs reaching into the low 40s in some areas.
Heat warnings are in effect for 100 Mile, Central and North Coast, east and inland Vancouver Island, Fraser Canyon, Fraser Valley, Greater Victoria, Howe Sound, Whistler, Metro Vancouver, North and South Thompson, the Sunshine Coast and the Southern Gulf Islands.
Daytime highs ranging from 35 to 38 C, combined with overnight lows of 17 to 20 C, are expected. Some areas will see slightly lower temperatures, but still be way above normal for this time of the year.
Humidex values during this period will reach the high 30s C and low 40s C, according to Environment Canada.
Maximum temperatures will be reached by Friday. Forecasters predict it will last three days with little relief at night.
Health officials said they are better prepared this time, for B.C.’s third heat wave of the summer.
The BC Coroners Service recently reported that 70 per cent of sudden and unexpected deaths during the June 25-July 1 heat wave were tied to extreme temperatures.
A preliminary review found that 570 of the deaths were heat-related, the service said.
Emergency Management BC has been working with communities around the province to make sure they have resources and information, Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said Wednesday.
A list of cooling centres that will be open is available on Emergency Management BC.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province’s paramedic service is ready for the increase in call volume and is fully staffed.
All health services and health authorities are fully prepared, Dix said, adding they are also staffing up emergency rooms and acute care centres.
Everyone is warned to watch out for symptoms of heat illness, including dizziness/fainting, nausea/vomiting, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark urine.
Environment Canada said heat warnings are issued when very high temperature or humidity conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
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