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Nearly all of B.C. under weather advisory amid first heatwave of the summer


Nearly all of British Columbia is under a special weather statement, as the first hot stretch of summer finally arrives.

It’s a change being welcomed by many after weeks of cold, dreary weather, but the warmer temperatures bring a number of safety warnings.

"We know we're not acclimatized to warmer weather yet,” said Dr. Emily Newhouse, a medical health officer at Fraser Health.

She urges people to use this weekend to prepare for more extreme heat, which is expected to arrive later this season.

"We want people to think about, 'is my home going to get too hot during the heat event? Should I be making plans to go somewhere else?’” Newhouse said.

She encourages people to keep cool in buildings that have air conditioning and stressed that a heat plan is especially necessary for those who are high-risk, including seniors, people who have pre-existing health conditions and those living alone.

She also urges everyone to check in on their loved ones and have others check in on them.

The South Coast will experience Inland temperatures in the upper 20s.

Through the weekend and into early next week, temperatures in the low 30s are forecast.

“There will be some respite from the elevated daytime temperatures as overnight lows fall into the mid-teens,” said Environment Canada in an advisory.

Officials are warning people to watch for signs of heat stroke.

Symptoms include nausea, dizziness and headaches.

Those experiencing confusion or vomiting are urged to call 911.

This weekend also marks the one-year anniversary of the record breaking heat dome that killed more than 600 British Columbians, though this weekend won’t be nearly as hot.

Most of those deaths occurred indoors in homes that did not have air conditioning, something the majority of Metro Vancouverites do not have because of the province’s typically mild weather.

But B.C. is becoming increasingly more dependent on it due to climate change.

A new report from BC Hydro shows AC use increased by about 50 per cent over the past decade, from a quarter of British Columbians using it at home, to nearly 40 per cent.

“Almost 60 per cent of British Columbians said they're feeling really anxious, understandably after last year's extreme heat event. And this has led to more British Columbians upgrading their AC or purchasing an AC,” said Susie Rider of BC Hydro.

Many people are expected to have their windows open over the next few days, so paramedics are telling parents to be wary.

Three children have already been treated at B.C. Children’s Hospital this year after falling from a window or balcony.

The hospital treated 16 kids for those types of falls in 2021 and two of them died.

“The key is to ensure that your window doesn't open more than 10 centimeters, the average child can fall through a window opening as small as 12 centimeters,” explained Dr. Rob Baird, the trauma surgical director of B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Temperatures are expected to return to near-normal levels by the middle of next week as a cooler, unsettled air mass pushes onshore. Top Stories

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