Extreme heat continues in the Tri-Cities, but Environment Canada believes today (June 29) may be the final stint of the "dangerous, long-duration" warning that remains in effect.
According to the forecast, daytime highs in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody will hover around the mid-30s but will feel like the mid-40s in the afternoon with humidity.
Overnight temperatures may only go as low as 20 C, the national service predicts, but it will lead to a week of likely seasonal temperatures across Metro Vancouver communities.
Starting July 1, the thermometer is expected to peak in the mid-20s, but could feel like 30 C, while dipping to the mid-10s at night.
A HEADS-UP FROM FRASER HEALTH
With overnight temperatures expected to remain in double-digits, indoor temperatures are likely increasing day-to-day in homes without air conditioning.
This cumulative effect of high daytime temperatures with limited overnight relief can lead to heat-related illness and Fraser Health is currently seeing a significant increase in the number of people seeking emergency care for heatstroke, heat exhaustion and other heat-related concerns, particularly in the elderly and other vulnerable populations.
"To help prevent heat stroke or heat exhaustion, seek cooling options before symptoms develop," says Fraser Health medical health officer Dr. Emily Newhouse.
"Check regularly on older people, and those who are unable to leave their homes, for signs of heat-related illness. If they are unwell, assist in moving them to a cooler location help them get hydrated and call for medical assistance if appropriate."
Signs of heat-related illness may include changes in behaviour, dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, fast breathing or heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination.
Severe signs of illness requiring immediate medical care include a high body temperature, confusion, hallucinations, lack of coordination, seizures, and/or a loss of consciousness.
Tips to stay safe in the heat:
- Drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages (preferably water) regardless of your activity intake
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty!
- While everyone is at risk of heat-related illness, hot temperatures can be especially dangerous for the young, the elderly, those working or exercising in the heat, persons with chronic heart and lung conditions, persons with mental illness, people living alone and people experiencing homelessness
- If you are taking medication, particularly for mental illness, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it increases your health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations
- If you are wearing a mask and are having difficulty breathing, remove the mask, whether you are indoors or outside, as the risk of wearing a mask may impact thermal regulation during heat events
Tri-City residents in search of a cool place to work and rest indoors have two civic facilities to choose from during the heatwave.
The city of Coquitlam opened the following hubs as cooling centres:
- Pinetree Community Centre (1260 Pinetree Way) from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Glen Pine Pavilion (1200 Glen Pine Crt.) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Parking is free at the venues today; more days for cooling centres will be added if the mercury stays high.
COVID-19 health protocols (i.e., face masks and physical distancing) apply for public indoor facilities.
Coquitlam Public Library is also welcoming members of the public who are seeking cool, quiet relief from the heat.
Extra seating will be provided indoors and fountains wll be turned on outdoors. Visit the City Centre branch (1169 Pinetree Way) or the Poirier branch (575 Poirier St.) For hours of operation, visit www.coqlibrary.ca.
Coquitlam Centre Mall is open from 10 to 6 p.m. today.
Additonally, Port Coquitlam Community Centre is set to stay open today as a cooling centre from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
You can click on the post below to find more information on pools, spray parks and other Tri-City amenities where you can stay cool.
- with files from Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News, and Ian Jacques, Delta Optimist