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As US southwest scorches, BC coast remains unsettled to start summer

Summary

Cooling centres are open and people are being told to stay inside as deadly temperatures bake the southwestern US

Ontario is also facing its hottest day of the year so far

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It is another day of extreme heat in the southwestern United States with temperatures expected to climb close to 50 degrees Celsius in some areas.

Four people have already died from the extreme temperatures in Arizona and cooling centres are open in cities like Los Angeles in southern California as the unusually hot heat wave continues to scorch the region.

There are power concerns today with people in LA being asked to conserve. Many businesses are turning up the air conditioning as the work week begins and California power companies may not be able to keep up with demand.

North of the border, Ontario is also experiencing very high temperatures with conditions that feel like 40 degrees.

“Sometimes a direct link can be drawn between what’s happening in the eastern half of the country and what’s happening close to home but that really doesn’t apply in today’s case,” says NEWS 1130 meteorologist Russ Lacate.

“The Ontario temperatures of 35 with the thunderstorms and the Humidex values of 40 will only last for a day and its back to normal by tomorrow,” he explains. “But that huge, high pressure ridge over the US southwest is still building up a dome of hot air and that is sending the mercury into the 40s for Phoenix, Palm Springs and Las Vegas all week long.”

Lacate says as long as that ridge does not budge, the south coast of BC will continue to see unsettled weather.

“Our forecast remains consistently pointed towards a summer season that will be slow to get underway but should trend warmer and drier than normal for much of July and August.”

Summer officially starts this afternoon at 3:34 p.m.