The Southern Interior is bracing for a heat wave this week, and Merritt is no exception.

Temperatures are expected to soar in what has already been a historically hot and dry year in which the Kamloops region recorded the lowest amount of precipitation in 120 years, making the spring of 2021 the second driest on record.

Earlier this month, several communities in BC broke records as the mercury crept up into the low to mid-thirties.

Kamloops saw a new record of 36 C, surpassing a record of 35.6 set in 1961. Kelowna hit 36.2 C, breaking a record of 34.5 C set in 2007 while Osoyoos recorded temperatures of 36.2 C, narrowly exceeding the previous record of 35 C. Trail, the hottest spot in BC on Wednesday June 2, 2021, reached 36.5 C surpassing the record of 33.3 set more than 80 years earlier in 1937.

The communities of Cranbrook, Golden, Creston, Nakusp, Princeton, Penticton, Summerland and Vernon also saw extreme heat and broke temperature records.

Over the course of the next week Merritt may see temperatures in the 36 C – 38 C range due to a ridge of high pressure that will build over BC. Humidex values are also expected to be record-setting.

Due to a lack of rainfall creating extremely dry conditions, BC faces a wildfire risk which has wavered between High and Extreme. This risk is expected to intensify as temperatures soar and people are urged to use extreme caution when in the backcountry.

As of June 21, just one day into the summer season, BC has recorded 324 wildfires.