It looks like we’ll have to kiss the pleasant summer weather goodbye for a few days.
Environment Canada issued a warning Wednesday afternoon that a series of rainshowers and thunderstorms are heading our way here in the East Kootenay.
“After a month-long dry spell the weather pattern across southern British Columbia is about to change,” the weather office said in the statement. “The persistent ridge of high pressure that has steered all weak summer storms northward into the Gulf Of Alaska will be replaced by a weak low pressure system that will eventually bring showers and thundershowers.”
Over the weekend, a low off the coast of Washington will spread high clouds north-east into B.C.
“The circulation around this low is so weak that predicting the location of showers and thundershowers will be a day-to-day challenge,” said the weather office.
“There are many large public events scheduled for the B.C. Day long weekend. Event organizers should be especially aware that lightning, downpours, gusty winds and hail often accompany thunderstorms.
“Campers, boaters and hikers noticing a darkening sky or sudden increases in the wind should seek shelter immediately when thunderstorms are in the forecast.”
When there is a lightning storm, head inside as soon as you can hear thunder.
“Remember the little saying, when thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, the storm is close enough that it can be dangerous. It’s best to seek shelter and remain indoors for a full 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder,” meteorologist Doug Lundquist told the Townsman earlier in the summer.
Two-thirds of lightning victims are struck either ahead of the storm or after they think it has passed.
If you can’t get inside, take shelter in the lowest possible area, such as a ravine or ditch, not under an isolated tree in a field. Keep your feet together and stay low.
The B.C. interior can experience a weather phenomenon called a microburst after a summer storm. This is what caused Cranbrook’s severe wind storm last July when wind speeds reached 107 kilometres an hour.
When it’s windy, the safest place is in a well constructed building, in a basement, away from windows and with as many walls between you and outside as possible. Don’t go outside to try to save an awning or carport, for example.
“People have been killed because they decided to go outside and try to save their overhangs or awnings and it blows away and hits them in the process,” said Lundquist.