B.C. ready to use new warnings as heat wave approaches, minister says | Canadian

With scorching weather anticipated in parts of British Columbia next week, the province’s public safety minister says a new warning system is ready to go.

Mike Farnworth said Friday the province had learned from last year’s deadly heat dome, and has implemented new protocols to issue heat alerts.

The protocol lays out daytime maximum and night time minimum temperatures that would trigger the heat bulletins.

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If a region is expected to exceed those ranges for two consecutive days it will trigger a heat alert, while if it is expected to last three or more days it will trigger a heat emergency, Farnworth said.

“For example, in the Lower Mainland, a heat alert would be out if the temperature is going to be for more than two days a high of 29 C and a low of 16 C,” Farnworth said.

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“Further up the valley it would be 32 C in the day and 16 C in the night, and in the Interior for example, it would be a day high of 35 C and a nighttime low of 18 C.”

Click to play video: 'Tips for staying safe in extreme heat'

Tips for staying safe in extreme heat

Tips for staying safe in extreme heat

The comments come as meteorologists forecast an approaching heat wave that could last up to a week.

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Global BC chief meteorologist Mark Madryga said an incoming ridge of high pressure is expected to begin making itself felt on the South Coast as early as Sunday, with the hottest temperatures early next week.

“Hot air is on the way,” he said. “We could get as high as 36 C Tuesday an in that mid-30s ball park to round out next week. An extended, very hot and certainly dry and sunny period is coming next week.”

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Mardyga said the Thompson-Okanagan should expect temperatures in the mid 30s, climbing as high as 39 C by Thursday. The Prince George region could also see temperatures in the low 30s by late next week he said.

“Let’s not by any means underestimate what’s coming,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

“To say that it’s less than last year, it’s also significantly more than we would typically see in the summer, so we need to prepare for it.”

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Learning lessons from last year’s heat dome

Learning lessons from last year’s heat dome – Jun 27, 2022

Officials are reminding people that they can seek out cooler temperatures near the water and should stay well hydrated once the heat arrives.

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People are also being asked to call and check in on vulnerable member of the community.

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Farnworth said the province was also coordinating with municipalities and funding cooling centres, and arranging transportation to those sites for people who need it.

“The important things to be doing are getting a fan if you don’t have one, getting portable air conditioning if you can for your home, making sure you know where to follow information for the weather,” said Dr. David McVea, a public health physician with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The public is also being urged to visit the province’s PreparedBC website for more resources on how to manage extreme heat.

– with files from Global News’ Richard Zussman

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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