The heat is on.

The mercury is expected to rise as a strong ridge of high pressure anchors over Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Temperatures are expected to hit the mid-to-upper 20s tomorrow and Wednesday.

In the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Powell River, and Sechelt, it could reach 27 degrees Celsius.

That’s about four or five degrees warmer than normal for this time of year.

It’ll be cooler in Port Hardy, where highs will hover between 20 and 22 degrees.

However, Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald said the heatwave won’t stick around for long.

“This beautiful stretch should last until Friday but (there will be) somewhat cooler temperatures on Thursday and Friday as the circulation turns onshore,” MacDonald said.

Clouds, with the possibility of raindrops, will likely be the story over the long weekend.

“We will probably see the cloud cover increase for the end of the week into the weekend but whether or not we see any rain… if we do see any it will be very light,” MacDonald said. “I think the best chances of that will probably be Sunday into Monday for Labour Day.”

As a whole, though, it’s been a warmer-than-usual August.

MacDonald said it’s been roughly a degree above average when you combine the first 26 days of the month.

“That’s quite notable,” he said.

It’s been dry, too. The region has only seen 50 to 80 percent of normal rainfall in August, depending on where you live on the island and the coast.

It’s tracking to be a warm fall, too, MacDonald said.

“When we look at seasonal forecasts we always look at how oceans are behaving in terms of temperature and they’ve been consistently been warmer than normal, so that drives our longer-term models to suggest a warmer-than-normal fall,” he said. 

“So as we get into September and October and even November, there’s good consensus there that we should see a warmer-than-normal fall.”