The mercury is on the rise as an extreme heat wave is set to swelter the Tri-Cities for the final week of July.
Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the region, as well as other Metro Vancouver communities, with inland temperatures expected to reach as high as 35 C consistently between now and Saturday (July 30).
On Thursday (July 21), the Tri-City News received confirmation that cooling centres are expected to open in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody in response to the incoming forecast.
And municipalities are set to test new strategies for keeping all residents as cool as possible, including those most vulnerable to the extreme heat.
Meteorologists say the lowest temperatures will be just before the sun rises at around 15 C.
"A strong ridge of high pressure will bring a heat wave to British Columbia this week," Environment Canada's warning reads, which was issued to the Tri-Cities around 5 a.m. this morning (July 25).
"The peak daytime high temperatures are expected from Wednesday to Friday. Then, a slow cooling trend is likely next weekend."
The forecast is cooler trend compared to the June 2021 heat dome, when temperatures were above 40 C, and 619 people died in B.C., including 14 people in Coquitlam.
Still, Environment Canada is encouraging everyone to take all precautions necessary to stay hydrated, especially young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, those who are pregnant and those who work or exercise outdoors.
Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include:
- Swellings, rashes and cramps
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat stroke
- Worsening of some health conditions
To start, Port Moody is activating its extreme heat response plan today through Wednesday (July 25-27) and part of its new strategy includes misting tents at local facilities, such as the Kyle Centre (125 Kyle St.), Pioneer Memorial Park (275 Knowle St.) and Rocky Point Park (2800-block Murray Street).
They're set to be in operation from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- The cooling centre will be located in the Civic Centre Galleria at 100 Newport Dr.
- Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Port Moody Public Library, also at 100 Newport Drive, is another option for taking a break from the heat – hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 25-27.
Meanwhile, misting tents could also be deployed at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (2150 Wilson Ave.), which will also act as a cooling centre.
In Coquitlam, the city has posted information and tips on its website.
It typically opens two cooling centres when weather gets hot, at Pinetree Community Centre and Glen Pine Pavilion.
As well, the two branches of the Coquitlam Public Library — City Centre (1169 Pinetree Way) and Poirier (575 Poirier St.) — will are available for residents looking to cool off from the heat.
For more information on health and safety tips, Environment Canada encourages the following sources:
- HealthLinkBC about heat-related illness and how to protect yourself
- HealthLinkBC info-line at 8-1-1
- with files from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News