As rising temperatures hit British Columbia again, people continue to ask me why Meteorologists make such a big deal about hot weather. It’s because extreme heat is the #1 weather-related killer. Weather-related phenomena like tornadoes, hurricanes and floods are what normally capture our attention.
The devastation from these events is visible, tragic and extreme. However, it’s excessive heat that takes the most amount of lives. This is why as weather specialists we want to help you stay safe.
For a city like Vancouver that is not used to such extreme temperatures, many of us aren’t prepared. Buildings here aren’t all made with air conditioning. Pet owners don’t automatically buy cooling vests. After all, we are Raincouver… usually.
So far, we’ve gone more than 40 days without any measurable rain and have already broken temperature records. It’s great for a beach day, as we are usually so sun-starved here, but you also need to take breaks from the heat and stay hydrated.
Environment Canada has issued a Heat Warning now through Saturday night, for Metro Vancouver and much of the inland coastal areas. Plus, parts of the South Coast and the Thompson Okanagan area. Metro Vancouver is in for hot temperatures in the high 20’s to low 30’s. Further inland, from Hope to Kamloops, we are expecting temperatures in the high 30’s.
It’s important to recognize that during extreme heat there is a higher need to remain hydrated with water and stay cool as your body is struggling to regulate its temperature. This is more extreme for children, seniors and pets.
Fans are helpful but should not be your only cooling device. Fans create airflow, which gives your body a false sense of comfort but it DOES NOT reduce body temperature. Try to use a fan and mist yourself with cold water.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOME COOL:
- Keep the heat out! Close blinds and drapes during the day
- Add insulation to keep heat out, also around window air conditioning units
- Use window reflectors to reflect heat back outside
- Limit heat from appliances like stoves, ovens, dryers, dishwasher
- Use fans to increase airflow; ceiling fans should rotate counter-clockwise
- Use air conditioners
FIND A COOLING CENTRE:
Many cities have opened cooling centres. Click the links below to official city pages to check for hours of operation in your area.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Some city pages may not have a list of cooling centres but the area will provide other options such as spray parks, swimming pools and recreation centres. Many libraries with air conditioning are also serving as a cooling centre in multiple areas. Check your local library for more information.
City of Surrey (includes Cloverdale) – Scroll down to “Extreme Heat & Smoke Relief Locations”