(Parvez Kumar)

Wildfire smoke leads to weather alert on Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says these smoky conditions could remain until Wednesday.

If you woke up on Tuesday wondering what happened to the sunshine and blue sky, you’re not alone.

Coming off one of the nicest labour day weekends in recent memory, it was a much gloomier picture this morning.

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The smoky haze is from the more than 100 wildfires still burning throughout B.C., and is being carried to Vancouver Island by an unseasonably strong ridge of high pressure that continues to build over the province.

Under this weather pattern, the airmass will also become increasingly stagnant and combined with outflow winds, is leading to the wildfire smoke making its way to the coast once again, according to Environment Canada.

A special weather alert is now in effect for Inland Vancouver Island, East Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Islands and Greater Victoria.

RELATED: BC failed to reduce wildfire risk

The Province has also issued a smoky skies bulletin for East Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria, Inland Vancouver Island, North Vancouver Island, Southern Gulf Islands, and West Vancouver Island.

Exposure to increased smoke concentrations is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease. Those at risk should avoid strenuous activities and prolonged exposure to smoke.

Smoke blocks the transmission of sunlight and can significantly lower daytime highs. The concentration and location of wildfire smoke however will also make it difficult to forecast temperatures and could factor into determining whether or not temperature records are broken.

This unique weather pattern is expected to last until at least Wednesday.

RELATED: Former faller says wildfire response mismanaged – Opinion


 

@ragnarhaagen
ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

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