The Kootenays, and the entire province, are going to be very warm for the next week or so, says Bobby Sekhon, a meteorologist for Environment Canada.
“We’ve got a strong ridge of high pressure right now,” he said on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. “It’s going to weaken a bit and then re-establish even stronger over the weekend.”
That means by Saturday temperatures will be in the high 30s. Castlegar is forecast to hit 39 on Saturday and Sunday, cooling only to 38 Monday. Nelson is also looking at 39 degrees, Creston 35 on Saturday, 38 on Sunday. Cranbrook is expected to hit 37, Kimberley 36.
“Everywhere in the region is going to be quite hot,” he said.
While this type of heat is not unusual for the Kootenays, Sekhon says it is a little earlier than it usually appears.
“In late July and August it can get pretty warm in the Kootenays,” he said. “We’re not used to seeing temperatures climbing so high at the end of June.”
Sekhon says that you can’t pin one hot spell on climate change, but as climate changes we can expect more extreme heat events.
BC Hydro said in a press release that with temperatures well above normal this weekend there will be increased pressure on the western power grid.
“BC Hydro has more than enough power to meet the increased demand on its system. And, unlike some of its neighbours to the south who are experiencing extremely low reservoir levels in some areas, BC Hydro is forecasting normal reservoir levels on average across the province this summer.”
Currently wildfire ratings are low to moderate throughout the Kootenays, however the extreme heat will have things drying out very quickly.