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‘Dangerous long-duration heatwave’ in B.C. has experts urging caution

Click to play video: 'Health officials warn about risks of coming ‘heat dome’'
Health officials warn about risks of coming ‘heat dome’
– Jun 24, 2021

A “dangerous long-duration heatwave will affect B.C. beginning on Friday and lasting until Tuesday,” Environment Canada is warning Thursday.

Heat warnings are in effect for most of the province now, except for parts of the northwest, the North Coast and the Kootenays.

Environment Canada said daytime highs ranging from 34 C to 38 C, combined with overnight lows of 18 C to 20 C, and a high humidex value means temperatures will reach the high 30s to possibly the low 40s.

Click to play video: 'B.C. evening weather forecast: June 24'
B.C. evening weather forecast: June 24

The warnings come as a high-pressure ridge moves over B.C. and forces cooler Pacific air northward, according to Global BC Meteorologist Kristi Gordon.

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The hot air in B.C.’s Southern Interior is expected to become trapped in a sort of “heat dome,” Gordon added.

Read more: ‘Heat dome’: Warnings issued as potentially record-breaking temperatures forecast in B.C.

Hot weather tips

There is concern this potentially record-breaking heat will increase the potential for heat-related illnesses.

Experts are urging everyone to drink plenty of water before feeling thirsty and staying in a cool place.

Close blinds and shutters during the daytime and open them at night. If it’s safe to do so, open your windows at night to let in cooler air. If you have children in your home, make sure you’ve taken precautions to prevent falls from windows and balconies.

Check on older family, friends and neighbours to make sure they are staying cool and drinking water.

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Outdoor workers should take regularly scheduled breaks in a cool place.

Never leave pets or people inside a parked vehicle.

Read more: B.C. SPCA says prevent pet heartbreak: Don’t leave animals inside hot vehicles

Click to play video: 'Special weather statement for parts of B.C.’s South Coast'
Special weather statement for parts of B.C.’s South Coast

Anyone experiencing symptoms of heat illness: dizziness/fainting; nausea/vomiting; rapid breathing and heartbeat; extreme thirst; decreased urination with unusually dark urine should immediately head into a cool place and call 811 or their doctor.

If you think someone might have heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

When possible, schedule outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon/early evening.

Stay in the shade and out of the hot sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Look for places with lots of shade, such as a park with big trees. Take an umbrella or tent to the beach.

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For those out in the sun during midday hours, wear long sleeves, loose-fitting long pants and a hat with a wide brim.

Wear sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection.

Use a sunscreen lotion or cream that is Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 15 or more. If you work outdoors or are planning to be outside most of the day, use one with SPF 30 or more.

Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.

The City of Vancouver has a list of cool centres that will be open along with ways residents and visitors can access drinking water around the city.

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