As fast as new temperature records are being set in British Columbia, they are being shattered, as a heat dome that has settled in over western Canada continues to send the mercury soaring.
Only one day after setting a new record for the hottest day ever on record in Canada, Lytton blew through that mark, recording a temperature of 47.9°C on Monday, June 28.* On June 27 it had reached 46.6°C, easily surpassing the previous all-time Canadian high of 41.7°C set at Yellow Grass and Midale, Saskatchewan on July 5, 1937.
Lytton was not the only community in B.C. that set a new temperature record on June 28. Nearly 60 places in the province reported new high temperatures, and with Tuesday, June 29 set to be the hottest day of the heat wave, more records are expected to be broken and set.
In Ashcroft the mercury hit 46.4°C on June 28, up from 43.8°C the previous day. The former record of 41.7°C had been set on July 15, 2014. Records in the area have been kept since 1944. The average daily temperature in Ashcroft in June is 24.6°C.
Clinton saw a new daily high temperature of 39.5°C on June 28. Prior to this year, the previous high had been 32.8°C (2015); records in the area have been kept since 1974. The average daily temperature in Clinton in June is 21°C.
Kamloops (45.8°C), Lillooet (45.6°C), Merritt (43.2°C), Kelowna (42.9°C), Penticton (42.5°C), Quesnel (41.1°C), Salmon Arm (38.8°C), and Prince George (38.4°C) all set new records on June 28. In normally temperate Victoria, the mercury surged to 39.8°C, while Vancouver also set a new record at a relatively cool 31.7°C.
Due to the extreme heat, people should take precautions and avoid the worst of the sun and heat as much as possible. Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and seek medical attention if needed.
Seniors, young children, and those with underlying health conditions should take extra precautions, and if you have pets make sure they have a cool place to rest in and plenty of water. Do not leave pets or children unattended in a parked vehicle.
Check on friends and neighbours who live alone and might be at risk, particularly if they do not have air conditioning in their home.
Limit your outdoor activities as much as possible. If you need to be outside, wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing, use sunscreen, and stay hydrated.
*All temperatures obtained from Environment Canada.