Environment Canada warns record heat could be followed by thunderstorms

Heat warning in effect

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.

Environment Canada has now issued a formal heat warning for the Thompson-Okanagan, including Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Kamloops.

A dangerous long-duration heat wave will affect B.C. beginning on Saturday and lasting until Tuesday.

The warning indicates that daytime highs will range from 35 to 40 degrees celsius combined with overnight lows of 20 to 22 degrees celsius.

The duration of this heatwave is concerning as there is little relief at night with elevated overnight temperatures. This record-breaking heat event will increase the potential for heat-related illnesses and increase the risk of wildfires due to drought conditions.

ORIGINAL 2:39 p.m.

Environment Canada is concerned about potentially record-setting heat coming to the Thompson-Okanagan in the next week.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Bobby Sekhon tells Castanet, "these heatwaves often end with showers or thundershowers and sometimes the showers don't show up and we just get lightning and that can be dangerous."

With a fraction of normal precipitation and scorching temperatures raising fire concerns across the Thompson-Okanagan, everyone is keeping a close eye on the weather and the potential for wildfires.

"We'll have to keep an eye on that Tuesday, Wednesday forecast (next week) to see what the potential will be."

The rest of this week is going to continue to be a scorcher and could bring record-breaking temperatures.

Penticton tied a 114-year-old heat record on Tuesday after the mercury topped out at 36.1 C, the old record was set back in 1907.

As for the rest of the Thompson-Okanagan we will be pushing against near-record temperatures for the next three days.

"This ridge of high pressure is super strong and stretches across the entire province, we don't usually see these types of temperatures until late July or early August," Sekhon says.

The records that are in Jeopardy for June 26, 27, and 28 date back as far as 1925.

For June 26: Penticton, 37.8 C set back in 1925; Kelowna 37.5 C set in 2002; Vernon 36.7 C set in 2002; Kamloops 38.4 C set back in 2006.

For June 27: Penticton, 37.8 C set back in 1925; Kelowna 38.1 C set in 2015; Vernon 37.3 C set in 2015; Kamloops 38.2 C set back in 2015.

For June 28: Penticton, 36.4 C set back in 2015; Kelowna 39.5 C set in 2015; Vernon 39.3 C set in 2015; Kamloops 39.1 C set back in 2015.

Kamloops has never hit 40 C in June.

"We've already had hot conditions and now we've got this hot stretch to end the month. That is atypical and concerning, it's not what we wanted to see," Sekhon says.

Environment Canada works with BC Wildfire Service to help forecast potential hot spots, dry areas and areas of concern, "this is a time when the more eyes we have on the weather the more likely it is that we catch something."

Open fires are not permitted in the Kamloops fire region at this time. Campfires remain allowed.

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