It’s time to get the water bottles ready, sunscreen slathered and air-conditioners turned on – the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island are heading into a potentially record-breaking heatwave.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of the Island in addition to Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the Southern Gulf Islands for the entire week as daytime maximum temperatures will remain five to 10 degrees above seasonal on Monday (June 21) and for the upcoming weekend.
Lisa Erven, a meteorologist with the agency said a ridge of warm air is shifting over the majority of the province and the event is looking to bring warmer temperatures as high as 31C on Saturday (June 26), which could set new records.
“The ridge is centered over the Pacific Ocean west of California and it’s a large feature at the same latitude of (the state). It extends well up to B.C. The ridge weakens slightly through Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and it will just rebuild with a very similar origin Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” she explained.
A special weather statement can be issued for heat when the temperature criteria are not meeting heat warning parameters but other factors come into play, such as the first sustained heat event of the summer season, noted Erven.
“It’s the start of the season and we’re not quite acclimatized to warm temperatures. (The weather) can cause heat-related illnesses, so we advise everyone to stay hydrated and seek cool areas. (The statement) also helps to draw attention to impactful weather and to start planning ahead for the heat.”
As the ridge shifts midweek along with a sea breeze, slightly cooler air will bring temperatures to between 23C and 26C – still a few degrees above normal. As the ridge rebuilds towards the weekend, Erven said daytime high will be flirting with breaking records as they could reach 31C on Saturday. With the humidity, temperatures could feel as hot as 35C.
The record for highest temperature recorded at the Comox weather station on June 26 is 29.9C set in 2000.
Erven offered hot weather tips for beating the heat: keeping homes cool by ensuring blinds are closed, wearing loose, light clothing, staying hydrated, taking breaks if working outdoors and continually applying sunscreen if planning to spend time outdoors.