Another significant heat wave is imminent for the Tri-Cities and Metro Vancouver regions.
Environment Canada is forecasting Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra to experience temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s starting tomorrow (Aug. 11), and has issued a heat warning as of 9 a.m. today (Aug. 10).
This marks the third time this summer a special alert has been put in place by the national agency, but it's not expected to reach the peaks of the heat dome that took over the final week of June.
A strong high-pressure ridge is once again making its way across the Lower Mainland with Wednesday, Thursday and Friday currently predicted to be the warmest of the week and could feel like 38 C with humidity.
Beyond that, the mercury is expected to hover at or slightly above 35 C through until Sunday (Aug. 15) with overnight lows ranging between 17 and 20 C.
As with the previous two heat waves, the risk for heat-related illnesses is set to increase, especially among young children, seniors, those who are pregnant, those with chronic conditions and anyone working outside.
They caution people about activities during the heat and encourage people to check on elderly and vulnerable friends and family and make sure they stay cool and drink water.
They're also reminding people not to leave pets in vehicles.
"Environment Canada and local Medical Health Officers expect an increase in health and safety risks from heat and are advising the public to take precautions."
Most communities are expected to open public facilities in the days ahead — or extend their hours.
The city of Port Moody has said it's opening a cooling centre in the Civic Centre Galleria as well as misting tents at Pioneer Memorial Park and PoMo Rotary SK8 Park.
Each will be open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Wednesday until Saturday (Aug. 14).
Port Coquitlam's community centre (PCCC) is set to open tomorrow through until Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the possibility of extended hours up to 8 p.m. as needed.
Residents are also welcome to bring their pets to the PCCC, and must follow all health and safety protocols, such as sanitizing your hands and ensure physical distancing. Masks are recommended, not mandated.
The Terry Fox Library is also open for those trying to find relief from the heat.
Meanwhile, Coquitlam is encouraging residents with limited cooling options to visit public facilities during the heat warning at several locations.
The city lists spaces such as community centres, both Coquitlam Public Library branches (575 Poirier St. and 1169 Pinetree Way), Coquitlam Centre, neighbourhood community organizations, or support local restaurants and businesses who have air-conditioned spaces.
As well, Coquitlam has nine spray parks where residents can splash around:
- Blue Mountain Spray Park (975 King Albert Ave.)
- Burns Park Spray Park (802 Edgar Ave.)
- Cottonwood Spray Park (672 Aspen St.)
- Galloway Spray Park (3404 Galloway Ave.)
- Mackin Spray Park (1046 Brunette Ave.)
- Norm Staff Spray Park (3320 David Ave.)
- Panorama Spray Park (1485 Johnson St.)
- Rochester Spray Park (1390 Rochester Ave.)
- Town Centre Spray Park (1299 Pinetree Way)
WATCH FOR HEAT ILLNESSES
Tri-City residents are being reminded to stay cool and hydrated this weekend and to take all steps necessary to avoid heat stroke.
If you see someone experiencing heat-related illnesses, you're urged to call 911 and while you're waiting, move them to a cool place if you can, apply cold water to large areas of their skin or clothing and fan the person as much as possible.
Symptoms can include heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash and muscle cramps, dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine.
Tips to avoid heat-related illnesses include:
- Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty to avoid dehydration
- Slow down: Your body can't function as well in high temperatures
- Take a cool shower or bath
- Avoid sun exposure
- Cover your head and face with a wide-brimmed breathable hat or umbrella when outdoors
- Seek shade and use sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher
- Dress in lightweight, light-coloured and loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric
- NEVER leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight
- Frequently check on family members, neighbours and friends who are elderly or chronically ill to make sure they are cool and hydrated
- Plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day, or try to find a cooler outdoor location (e.g.under tree cover)
- Visit a spray park or book a visit at an outdoor pool
- Follow any COVID-19 restrictions in place
- Prepare meals that don’t need to be cooked in the oven
- Block out sun by opening awnings, and closing curtains or blinds during the day
- with a file from Brendan Kergin, Vancouver Is Awesome