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Alert: It is going to be a hot couple of days, Squamish

Environment Canada issues heat warning for the Lower Mainland and Sea to Sky.
Special heat weather statement squamish June 26
Keep water in mind for yourself and your pet over the next couple of days as temperatures heat up.

Hydrate and seek shade, Squamish. It is going to get hot out there. 

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the Lower Mainland and Sea to Sky. 

This alert is for Sunday and Monday. 

After a rather cool spring, this marks the first hot stretch of the summer for the south coast.

Daytime highs are expected to rise into the low 30s with overnight lows down to the mid-teens.

"The south coast is experiencing a stretch of much warmer than average temperatures through Monday. Temperatures are forecast to be in the mid to high 20s near the water and into the low 30s inland," reads the alert. 

This rise in temperatures comes with human, pet and environmental risks. 

People are more at risk for heat-related illnesses.

According to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid breathing & heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Extreme thirst
  • New skin rash
  • Dark urine and decreased urination 

"Anyone with signs of heat exhaustion should move to a cool space, drink water, and apply cool water to large areas of the skin — cool bath, shower or wet their clothes. Take these steps right away because heat exhaustion can quickly develop into heat stroke, which is a medical emergency," reads the VCH site. 

Protect yourself 

Here are more ways to avoid getting sick from the heat:

  • Head to Brennan Park Recreation Centre or the Squamish Public Library to cool off
  • Wear a wet shirt or apply damp towels to your skin to cool down
  • Drink plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated
  • Wear loose-fitting and light-coloured breathable clothing
  • Limit activity, especially during the hottest hours of the day (generally 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in B.C.)
  • Close windows and pull indoor/outdoor shades/blinds around 10 a.m. to trap the cooler air inside and block the sun

Leave your dog at home

This is not the time to leave your dog in the car while you run into the store. 

BC SPCA answers hundreds of calls every year about animals in distress in hot cars.
Dogs have no sweat glands and so they can only cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws, notes the SPCA.  

“Dogs cannot withstand high temperatures for long periods, particularly older pets and brachycephalic breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, Boston terriers and others with compressed faces,” said  Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA in a news release sent out last summer. 

She said SPCA officers see pets die from being left in vehicles. 

“It is a completely preventable tragedy for both the poor animal and their distraught guardian,” she said. 

Here’s what BCSPCA advises if you see a dog left in a car. 

  • Note the license plate, vehicle colour, make and model and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately. If the animal is not showing signs of distress, but you are concerned, you may wish to stay by the vehicle to monitor the situation until the owner returns.
  • If the animal is showing clear signs of heatstroke or other distress symptoms, call your local animal control agency,(604-815-6866 or 604.815.5067 during weekdays in Squamish) RCMP or the BC SPCA call centre at  1-855-622-7722 as soon as possible. 

Heat and the environment

As far as the environment goes, freezing levels will rise throughout this heat event and will lead to an increase in snowmelt and snowpack instability. Increased stream flows due to run-off are probable, says Environment Canada. 

"Although heat is expected, bodies of water still remain cool for this time of year and may pose a risk of hypothermia with prolonged exposure," reads the special weather alert. 

Temperatures are expected to return to near-normal by the middle of next week as a cooler, unsettled airmass pushes onshore.

**Please note, this story was updated after Environment Canada updated their statement from an alert to a warning.