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Vancouver, B.C. - 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 are 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. Afterall, 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.