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Keep cool: Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands join provincial extreme heat wave

Warm weather prompts safety reminder of heat illness
Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock celebrates the opening of the Rutledge Park splash pad, the newest in Greater Victoria.

Greater Victoria and the Gulf Islands joined the rest of the province in weathering a heat wave with a warning issued Monday (July 8).
While not yet record-breaking the south Island's high temperatures over the weekend are expected to continue into the week, prompting a warning from Environment Canada. 

The localized warning covers Greater Victoria, Southern Gulf Islands, East Vancouver Island and Inland Vancouver Island through Tuesday night.
Environment Canada had already issued heat warnings for eastern Vancouver Island, where daytime highs are expected to hit the low 30s.

A strong ridge of high pressure ushered in high temperatures with daytime highs in the low 30s C away from the water and overnight lows near 16 C.   
While daytime highs are expected to moderate starting Wednesday, warm weather will persist with sunny days and highs around 26 C expected straight through to the weekend. Average daily temperatures are in the low 20s for this time of year, in Greater Victoria. 
The heat wave comes after a remarkably average June across Vancouver Island as far as temperatures and precipitation.
Victoria International Airport in North Saanich saw 98.8 per cent of its normal precipitation with Campbell River coming in at 104.9 per cent. Nanaimo was the wettest of the Island with a remarkable 143.6 per cent of its normal rainfall.

It’s a very different story from June last year, when May too was warmer and drier, and Greater Victoria saw 55 per cent of its normal precipitation, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The region didn't hit any record-breaking weather over the weekend – the highest daily temperature records for July 7 and 8, were set in 2010 when it hit 31.6 and 33.2 respectively – but the health risks remain.

Environment Canada says the risks associated with heat are elevated for seniors and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and mental health challenges. Effects of heat illness include heavy sweating, rash, cramps, fainting, high body temperature and the worsening of some health conditions.
Call HealthLinkBC at 811 to ask about heat-related illness.
Anyone in a hot zone should seek a cool place such as a tree-shaded area, splash pad, misting station, or air-conditioned place such as recreation centres and libraries. 
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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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