Western Canada under the hot sun as heatwave brings heat warnings

The first real heatwave of the summer is here.

Heat warnings are in affect for many areas across the Prairies as a ridge of high pressure makes its way through.

National Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment Canada Jennifer Smith said generally, Western Canada can expect daytime highs to be between 30 and 35 degrees with some areas exceeding 35 degrees, and night-time temperatures are expected to be in the mid-to-high teens.

“This warm spell is likely to linger into next week, particularly across southern B.C. and the Prairie provinces, though its a bit early to offer a high-confidence forecast this far into the future,” Smith said.

Smith made it clear that while it’s hot this year, it’s not the same as the heatwave of 2021 when “heat warning thresholds were met and then surpassed by an enormous margin.” She says the high temperatures forecast for this heatwave is expected to lower in areas where it saw the worst heat in 2021, adding daily records may be broken but not all-time records.

Peter Berry, a Senior Policy Analyst and Senior Advisor with Health Canada, says while everyone is affected by the heat, those at greater risk are Indigenous People, older adults, young children, the homeless, and people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

He says signs of heat illness due to overexposure to the heat or over-exertion include, but is not limited to, dizziness or fainting, nausea, headache, unusually rapid breathing and heart beat, and extreme thirst.

He says there are many ways to stay cool, such as staying up to date on weather alerts, drinking plenty of water, staying inside your home or in a shaded area, and checking on those who are more at-risk of heat-related illnesses. It’s also advised to set outdoor activities during the coolest parts of the day and if you need to be outside, limit your exposure to the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or take an umbrella.

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