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Hot weather expected to cool by week’s end

VICTORIA, B.C. – Over the last week and a half, temperature records were set across British Columbia.

The hot weather lead to a heat warning being issued by Environment Canada.

Fortunately, relief is in sight.

According to Armel Castellan, a meteorologist with the weather agency, temperatures will dip to a more normal low to mid-20s.

“It’s been an exceptionally dry last two and a half, three weeks and we’re about to change that. We’re about to see sort of a strata-surge, so a lot of the clouds at low levels are going to be pushed in from the Pacific,” he said.

Castellan noted that will probably happen by the end of the day Wednesday or by Thursday. That will be followed up with a low-pressure system, leading to rain.

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“It may not be huge amounts, for late July and early August like this, but is certainly a fairly marked change compared to what we have felt here for the past three weeks,” he explained.

“The impacts are so wide-ranging from agriculture to hydrology levels and the aquaculture and so on, let alone the forest fires and air quality, so they’re so wide that relief is certainly on the way to a certain extent.”

He said that around August 10th or 11th, patterns might return to a more sunny state and above normal temperatures could also return.

Castellan stressed the importance of staying hydrated and cool when those hotter temperatures are in place.

On Monday, July 30th, more than a dozen temperature records were broken.

In Burns Lake, the mercury hit 34.1 degrees Celsius, topping a 2009 record of 33.3 degrees Celsius.

Campbell River saw a record high of 34 degrees Celsius, beating a previous record of 33.9, while Courtenay’s high hit a record 34.8 degrees Celsius.

“On the Sunshine Coast, Sechelt had 31.8 degrees, so that’s a degree and a half higher than the previous record in 2009, so that completely shattered the record there,” Castellan said.

He noted that one of the most surprising thing is how long the heat lasted.

“To have a heat warning out for that many days is a long time to have those records topple every couple of days, there has been a few records,” he said.

Castellan also said that lightning is a huge risk, especially when it’s so dry out.

“Even though on the Coast we’re not as prone as we are in the prairies or Inland BC, it’s certainly one of those things to just continually remind folks that when thunder roars, to really just go indoors,” he advised.

As of this publication, the heat warning has been lifted for affected areas.

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