Extreme and potentially dangerous heat hits Nanaimo region

By Ian Holmes
July 31, 2017 - 1:38pm Updated: July 31, 2017 - 2:37pm

German tourists Georgina Clare and Arthur Friesen enjoying the sunshine on the shores of Nanaimo's Long Lake Monday.Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — A meteorologist warns a heat wave bringing potentially record-breaking temperatures to mid-Vancouver Island likely won't loosen for a while.

Environment Canada's Cindy Yu told NanaimoNewsNOW a special weather warning applies to the mid-island area brought on by a ridge of high pressure over the province.

“As a result we will see temperatures in the 30's for the South Coast and then high 30's and possibly 40's for the Southern Interior.”

Yu said daytime highs are expected to hit 33 C Tuesday and 34 C on Wednesday in Nanaimo.

She noted daytime averages on the mid-island this time of year are 23 C.

“We are sitting at 10 degrees above the normal seasonal temperature, that's pretty unusual.”

Yu said we're on the front-end of an extended hot stretch. “There is a little bit of relief heading into next week when we are seeing the ridge collapsing. We should see some slightly cooler temperatures mid-next week.”

Yu said a dose of extremely hot weather puts an exclamation point on an exceptionally dry month. She said just 0.4 mm of rain will end up falling at Nanaimo Airport in July, well below the average of 25.4 mm.

Island Health has supplied a list of tips to help people avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The health authority noted the young and old are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Recommendations include drinking plenty of water, wearing loose-fitting, light clothing, using sunscreen and avoiding strenuous activity during peak daytime hours.


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