Heat warnings issued by a number of medical officers in the Hamilton-Niagara region are still in effect almost a week after a number of municipalities endured temperatures in the 30s with very high humidex values.
Environment Canada says the “prolonged period” of hot weather is likely to persist through Friday with humidex values close to 40 for at least two of the next three days.
“Daytime high temperatures in excess of 30 C, with humidex values in the high 30s to low 40s, are expected,” the weather agency said in its statement on Wednesday morning. “Overnight lows near 20 C are also expected through this period, providing little relief from the heat.”
The regional forecast for Wednesday is calling for sun and cloud with a risk of a thunderstorm and a high of 32 C with humidex values near 38.
Thursday is expected to be hotter with sunshine, 34 C and a humidex value reaching 41.
Friday will be sunny again with a high of 33 C.
As intense as the current heatwave is, Environment Canada says no records are expected to be broken. The agency says the period of July 6-10 in 1988 produced temperatures between 34 C and 37 C in the region.
The heat warning issued last Thursday from Hamilton’s medical officer of health is still in effect. As a result, the city’s “cool places” are operational during the heat event despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and locations can be identified by a “Cool Down Here” sign at the entrance.
Free drinking water will be available at the following sites during the heatwave:
- Spray pads at Waterdown Memorial Park, Dundas Driving Park, Village Green, Pier 4 Park, Gage Park, Winona Park and the Binbrook Fairground Community Park (open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
- Beaches at Bayfront Park, Beach Boulevard, Binbrook Conservation Area, Christie Conservation Area, Confederation Beach Park, Pier 4 Park Beach, Valens Conservation Area Beach and Van Wagner’s Beach
- Norman Pinky Lewis Rec Centre, 192 Wentworth St. N., Hamilton (noon to 7 p.m.)
- Sackville Hill Seniors’ Recreation Centre, 780 Upper Wentworth St., Hamilton (noon to 7 p.m.)
- Hamilton Central Library, 55 York Blvd., Hamilton (Thursday, noon to 7 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.)
Many locations that normally open as cooling centres, such as recreation centres and libraries, will not be doing so during heat events amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, cold pale and clammy skin, weak pulse, fainting and vomiting,” the city’s medical officer said in a statement on Thursday.
“If experiencing symptoms, seek help right away — call 911 if needed.”
The city also suggests:
- Drinking plenty of water, avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
- Limit physical activities
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and a hat, or use an umbrella
- Use sunscreen
- Close blinds or curtains and open windows to let air circulate when using a fan
- Take a cool bath or shower
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles
- Check on your neighbours and family
Most locations in Burlington that have provided relief from the heat in the past, such as libraries and community centres, will not be available during the heat event due to COVID-19.
However, the Central Arena’s Auditorium at 519 Drury Lane is operating as a cooling centre and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The city of Niagara Falls cooling centres are at the Gale Centre Arena on Thorold Stone Road (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Niagara Falls Public Library on Victoria Avenue (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
St. Catharines’ cooling centre is at the Kiwanis Centre on Carlton Street and is open from 9 a.m until 8 p.m. Four splash pads have also been designated as cooling spaces at Bogart Street, Catherine Street, Pearson and West parks.
COVID-19 precautions are in place for all sites. These precautions include:
- Two metres of physical distancing for people not in a social circle
- Screening for COVID-19 symptoms at indoor locations
- Face masks where available
Brantford’s cooling centre is located at Syl Apps Community Centre on William Street and is open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
The city’s three splash pads are open at Harmony Square, Bridlepath Park, and Mohawk Park with operating hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.