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Southern Interior heat wave prompts warning to stay cool

With temperatures pushing towards the 40 C mark in the Thompson-Okanagan for the next week, beaches like this one at Riverside Park in Kamloops will be a very popular place to cool off.
July 12, 2014 - 1:02 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – The meteorologists who build and distribute the daily forecasts are worried enough about the extremely hot weather in the Southern Interior they have issued a special weather statement.

Very warm, dry air from the desert in the southwest United States has moved into the B.C. Interior, forecasters say.

The weather prognosticators at Environment Canada are predicting the mercury will cruise past the 35 C mark Saturday afternoon with some regions topping out at 40 C.

The heat wave will continue into next week with the temperature at or just below the 40 C mark.

A cooling trend is forecast to begin by Friday. And when the meteorologists say 'cooling trend' they mean highs around 29 or 30 C.

The high temperatures are pushing the fire danager rating to high, and in some regions, into the extreme range.

Environment Canada has supplied some helpful hints to help you cope with the extreme heat.

Coping with the heat

There are many symptoms of heat-related illness, including thirst, dizziness, confusion, weakness and fainting/collapsing. Medical health officers are reminding residents to protect themselves from the heat by staying hydrated, keeping cool and checking on others.

1. Stay hydrated
- Drink cool beverages (preferably water) irrespective of your activity intake. Don't wait until you are thirsty.
- If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask about increasing the amount of water you can drink while the weather is hot.

2. Keep cool
- Spend at least several hours each day in an air-conditioned facility (such as a shopping centre, library, community centre or restaurant).
- Use public splash pools, water parks or pools or take a cool bath or shower.
- At current temperatures, fans alone are not effective. Applying cool water mist or wet towels to your body prior to sitting in front of a fan is a quick way to cool off.
- Wear loose, light-weight clothing. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Keep your home cool. Open windows, close shades, use an air conditioner and prepare meals that do not require an oven.
- Avoid sunburn, stay in the shade or use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
- Avoid tiring work or exercise in the heat. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each hour.
- Never leave children or pets alone in a parked car. Temperatures can rise to 52 C within 20 minutes in an enclosed vehicle when the outside temperature is 34 C. Leaving the car windows slightly open or cracked will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.

3. Check in on others
- Check regularly on people living alone who may be at high risk of severe heat related illness. This includes seniors, those who are unable to leave their homes and anyone who may not be spending at least several hours every day in air conditioned places.
- If they are unwell, move them to a cool shady spot, help them get hydrated and call for medical assistance if required.

4. Get informed
- Check the local news for health and safety updates.
- For more information on heat related illness, call HealthLink BC at 811.
- Contact your Local Government to find out what services (such as air conditioned buildings and public splash parks) are available in your area. Hot, dry weather can lead to higher fire risk. Please see the B.C. wildfire management branch website at for more details and fire safety tips.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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