British Columbia

As summer kicks off in B.C., warm weather is finally in the forecast

Warm weather is on the way after a long spell of cool June weather, according to Environment Canada. 

Warm stretch comes after a fairly cold and wet June for much of B.C.

After unseasonably cold weather through much of June, parts of B.C. are expected to see warmer temperatures this weekend. (Gian Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Warm weather is on the way for parts of British Columbia after a long spell of cool weather, according to forecasters.

Armel Castellan, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Monday that June has been fairly cold and wet in large parts of the province. 

That is set to change come the weekend. Temperatures are forecast to hit a high of 22 C in Metro Vancouver and 26 C  inland on Friday with temperatures in the 20s continuing into Saturday and Sunday, according to Environment Canada. 

Temperatures on Sunday could get into the 30s in Kelowna and Kamloops and as high as 25 C in Prince George.

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The rise in temperatures will come just shy of the first anniversary of last summer's heat dome. Between June 25 and July 1 of last year, temperatures rose above 40 C in many parts of the province, which led to 619 heat-related deaths, according to a B.C. Coroners Service report released earlier this month.

Castellan said the upcoming stretch of weather won't come anywhere close to those historic highs. Temperatures won't be high enough to warrant a heat warning, he says, but Environment Canada may issue a special weather statement as the warm weather is coming on the heels of a lengthy cool spell. 

"Technically, our heat really comes from that first week in July onwards, so it is a little bit early and it comes on the heels of a cooler signal," he said.

"So it will be something that a lot of people will feel will have some relevance to heat illnesses."

Castellan says the weather is going to affect river systems that are dealing with relatively high flows this late in the freshet season. 

Dave Campbell, head of the River Forecast Centre, said last week that they believe the freshet runoff into rivers and lakes has reached its height, but snow is expected to continue melting for the next two weeks.

Campbell said the delay in snow pack melt this year means a greater risk of flooding will persist into July.

Meanwhile, the B.C. government on Monday released its new strategy to get the province ready to fight extreme weather that sets off heat, wildfires and flooding.

Environment Minister George Heyman said the plan includes enhanced roles for the B.C. Wildfire Service to prepare and prevent fires.

Heyman said the province is creating a provincial flood strategy, an extreme heat preparedness plan and is working with First Nations to expand the practice of cultural and prescribed burning.

The government says it will invest more than half a billion dollars over the next three years to ensure the province is prepared to adapt to climate change impacts.

With files from The Canadian Press