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Vancouver forecast calls for 'risk of thunderstorms' during heat wave

Environment Canada warns lightning could strike during the heat wave in Vancouver
lightning-vancouver-may-2021-thunderstorm
Environment Canada warns that a thunderstorm may produce lightning in the Metro Vancouver region during the heat wave starting on July 30, 2021. 

Environment Canada warns that a thunderstorm may produce lightning in the Metro Vancouver region during the heat wave this weekend. 

While there is a greater probability of thunderstorms heading toward Hope, an "upper disturbance" causing them south of the border may reach the Lower Mainland, Environment Canada Meteorologist Jonathan Bau tells Vancouver Is Awesome

The national weather forecaster is currently tracking the tempestuous weather feature moving north from Oregon that is slated to arrive in the Lower Mainland Friday (July 30) night. There's also a risk of thunderstorms Saturday morning. 

Although the risk of thunderstorms locally is quite low right now, Bau notes that there "is enough instability" for them to occur. 

And while moisture and instability in the upper disturbance are causing the thunderstorms, conditions are so dry and hot that any precipitation from them may evaporate. 

"The common denominator for dry lightning is the hot and dry surface," he explains, noting that the weather phenomenon doesn't only happen during wildfires. "As long as we have the atmospheric conditions. So, near the surface is hot and there's a lack of moisture and the loft is unstable enough for thunderstorms to develop."

Bau adds that a thunderstorm may still produce precipitation in these instances but it will evaporate before it hits the ground due to the hot and dry conditions. 

If thunderstorms develop, you should stay indoors. Remember, if you can see lightning or hear thunder, you may be in danger of being hit. 

Metro Vancouver weather forecast 

metro-vancouver-thunderstorm.jpgPhoto via Environment Canada

While there might be some precipitation in Metro Vancouver this weekend, a heat warning is still in effect.

Environment Canada's heat warning notes that a ridge of high pressure will lead to elevated temperatures Friday in the region through Saturday night. 

The Vancouver weather forecast includes a 30 per cent chance of chances showers on Friday evening and Saturday morning. That said, however, Friday is expected to see highs of 27°C on the coast and 33°C inland but these temperatures will feel more like 33°C and 39°C  with humidity.

Similarly, Saturday's forecast includes a 25°C high on the coast and a 31°C high inland. With humidity, these temperatures will feel more like 31°C and 37°C.