VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The heatwave gripping the South Coast is expected to shatter more records, with the Lower Mainland gearing up for temperatures into the 40s Monday.
The brutally hot stretch is expected to peak to start the week. And if you were expecting to find some relief closer to the shore — you may not find the cooler temperatures you seek.
“With daytime highs even near the water at about 33 degrees — and that’s right on the beach. If you’re just a few blocks off the beach, it’s upper 30s, pushing 43 away from the shoreline,” explains Meteorologist Michael Kuss, who notes temperatures climb even higher the farther east you go.
— Michael Kuss (@Kusswx) June 28, 2021
“We could see some 44s for parts of the Fraser Valley, and even with a little bit of humidity, it’s going to feel 40 to 50 degrees today under the sun.”
Michael says there’s no break for Tuesday morning, even though the forecast has temperatures dropping slightly.
“Here’s the interesting thing: Tuesday morning’s low could be the warmest — 23 to 26 degrees, so not great sleeping tonight. But it will be a little bit cooler tomorrow; 28 to 32 degrees,” he says.
“This is the real concern — we’re looking at overnight lows down in the 20s. Even this morning, the coldest temperatures we have are 20, 21 degrees — and that’s out in Mission, out in Agassiz. Pretty much everywhere else is 22 to 26 degrees, feeling near 30 first thing, and that’s the concern. You just don’t have the opportunity to cool down.”
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The high temperatures are also forcing school closures, with students across the Lower Mainland being asked to stay home Monday due to the high heat.
The sun and heat aren’t just increasing the risks of heatstroke, sunburn, and dehydration, but also impacting people’s ability to sleep. According to an expert, our core body temperature needs to cool down as we get closer to sleeping, but because of the extreme temperatures we’re seeing — even at night — our temperatures are staying elevated, makes it much harder to doze off.
Lytton the hottest place in Canada
On Sunday, Lytton, B.C. broke the record for Canada’s all-time highest temperature. The Fraser Canyon village recorded a temperature of 46.6 degrees, breaking the previous record of 45 that was set in Saskatchewan in 1937.
Lytton's official high temperature today June 27, 2021 is 46.6 C. Lytton BC now holds the record for Canada's all time maximum high. The previous record was 45.0 C set on July 5, 1937 at Yellow Grass, and Midale, SK.
— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCCWeatherBC) June 28, 2021
And temperatures could climb higher yet, with the heat on Monday expected to top Sunday’s scorcher.
High heat leads to high electricity use
Meanwhile, to no one’s surprise, BC Hydro says some of its own records were shattered over the weekend, with more expected to be set on Monday.
The utility says preliminary numbers show British Columbians hit an all-time power consumption record for an hour on Sunday night, breaking the record set just a day before.
Hydro says consumption reached 8,106 megawatts, more than 100 megawatts higher than on Saturday, likely as many turned to things like fans and air-conditioning for some relief.
With increased demand also comes increased pressure on the system, with BC Hydro saying it saw some localized outages over the past few days.
“BC Hydro appreciates that any outage can be concerning, but even more so in this extreme heat,” the utility says. It stresses that crews are on standby and working quickly to restore power when it cuts.
Extreme heat leads to record-breaking electricity demand for a second day in a row. Consumption reached 8,106 MW yesterday, more than 100 MW higher than record set Saturday. Operational update: https://t.co/X0WNfS4nyu #BCStorm #Heatwave pic.twitter.com/4LV1c4qUlg
— BC Hydro (@bchydro) June 28, 2021
“However, the intense heat is adding to what is already an inherently dangerous job for crews. They have to follow extra safety protocols due to the heat so in some cases power restoration is taking longer than normal,” it adds.
For some relief, BC Hydro recommends closing drapes and blinds at home, noting “shading windows can block out up to 65 per cent of the heat.” It says closing windows and doors can help keep warmer temperatures out and keep cooler ones in.
Hydro says fans are also a good option, saying running one for nine hours a day over the course of the summer can cost you under $10. It says avoiding the use of large appliances that produce a lot of heat can bring some relief.
-With files from Vanessa Doban, Charlie Carey, and Mike Lloyd