Skies are smoky in the Okanagan as wildfires burn. Pictured is one of the fires burning north of Big White, as seen from Dilworth Mountain on July 1. (Dale Mckee/Facebook)

Expect smoky skies and high heat in Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada said the mid- to high-30s won’t last past Wednesday

The heat is back, though it is noticeably not as hot as when the heat dome arrived.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement and heat warning for parts of the Okanagan-Shuswap regions as a ridge of high pressure builds over the province, resulting in high temperatures starting today (July 12) until Wednesday.

Environment Canada meteorologist Derek Lee said to expect daytime highs of 35 to 36 C in Vernon and Kelowna and highs of 34 to 35 C in the Shuswap area.

“Though these temperatures don’t meet our heat warning criteria, we do still have a special weather statement for elevated temperatures so be on the lookout for warmer temperatures than normal and take breaks as necessary,” Lee said.

South Okanagan, however, is a bit of a different story according to Lee.

“We did issue a heat warning in the South Okanagan, with a high of 36 today and 37 tomorrow in the Penticton area.”

He added that even though it’s not as hot as when the heat wave was here, people should still monitor themselves and their loved ones for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, stay in a cool place if possible. If you’re working outdoors, make sure to take frequent breaks,” he said.

Besides the heat, there are also smoky skies to watch out for due to the wildfire activity throughout the region.

“Right now, our air quality index is sitting at moderate for now, but we will see some northerly winds in the region today, which can affect that air quality.”

Though current weather conditions are not as bad as they were during the historic heat wave, Lee said they still are not ideal for firefighting efforts in the province.

“We are expecting sunny weather throughout the week. It’s nice weather, but it’s not good for fire conditions overall,” he said.

Temperatures from Thursday and into the weekend are expected to drop to the low 30s, with cooler overnight conditions.s

READ MORE: RCMP to provide update soon on investigation into wildfire in Lytton, B.C.


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twila.amato@blackpress.ca

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