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Canada Dry : Hot, dry weather expected in throughout Canada this summer as B.C. grapples with heatwave

Canada Dry : Hot, dry weather expected in throughout Canada this summer as B.C. grapples with heatwave
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TORONTO -- As B.C. marks the first day of summer with a heatwave, one climatologist expects much of Canada to experience a hotter and drier than normal summer.

"I don t think it will be as brutally warm and torrid as it was last year," Environment and Climate Change Canada senior climatologist Dave Philips told CTV News Channel from his home in Barrie, Ont. Sunday. "But I think flavor of the summer looks like it s going to be warmer than normal."

Warmer temperatures will also require more precipitation, something that s been sorely lacking across the country.

"Clearly, we need a lot more precipitation than we re going to get, because under hotter than normal conditions, you typically find that you need more precipitation, not less," Phillips said.

"I think that will be the big story. The headline will be Canada Dry from coast to coast to coast."

B.C. has been experiencing hotter average seasonal temperatures as a heatwave in the U.S. moves north, with temperatures culminating at 37 C this week in parts of the interior.

"We ve heard so much about the southwestern heatwave in the States," Phillips said. "That same pressure pattern, that ridge, is flowing northward, and just capturing many parts of southern British Columbia."

As of Sunday morning, B.C. s lower mainland and its surrounding areas, along with much of Vancouver Island, are under a special weather statement from Environment Canada, which says that temperatures could be up to 10 degrees above seasonal averages until Monday.

A high of 30 C on Sunday and 31 C on Monday is expected for the inland parts of the city of Vancouver. In Victoria, temperatures are expected to reach 26 C on Sunday and 27 C on Monday, although the areas near the water will be much cooler.

Phillips says the heat is expected to move further into the interior of the province, such as the Okanagan Valley, as the week progresses.

"Boy, the heat is going to build and then for the rest of the week, as that ridge moves in into the interior, you re going to see some very warm temperatures that could be as much as eight to 10 degrees warmer than normal in the Okanagan," he said.

Sunday s high in Kelowna, B.C., the largest community in the Okanagan, is expected to be 29 C. On Monday, temperatures will hit 32 C and are expected to stay above 30 C for the whole week, hitting a whopping 35 C on Friday and 37 C on Saturday.

"You know that s about a dozen degrees warmer than you normally would see this time of the year," said Phillips.

Making matters worse, Phillips notes that the area has been much drier than normal, increasing the risk of forest fires.

"Really since January, February, there s been very little precipitation. So already, the area is dry and showing stress," Phillips explained. "And you get this heat which just takes every beat of moisture out of the ground and the situation is quite serious probably from a health point of view but also from a potential forest fire and drought situation."

Phillips says this heatwave "looks like the effects of climate change" but adds that it s difficult to attribute it as "the only cause."
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