With the official start of summer tomorrow, the forecast is calling for a short heatwave to mark the change of seasons. The Environment Canada forecast is calling for a two-day spike in temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday’s high is expected to reach 33º Celsius with a humidex of 39. While rain showers are expected on Wednesday, temperatures are still expected to reach a high of 31º Celsius. These temperatures meet the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s criteria for a two-day Heat Warning. The overnight temperatures are expected to offer a slight reprieve, dropping to 23º Celsius on Tuesday, and 15º Celsius on Wednesday. Based on the current forecast, this Heat Warning will remain in effect until Thursday morning, when the daytime high is expected to reach 27º Celsius.
The Health Unit issues Heat Warnings when one or more of the following criteria are met:
- Environment Canada issues a forecast calling for a day-time high of 31º Celsius or higher and a forecast low of 20º Celsius or higher for two consecutive days, or;
- Environment Canada issues a forecast calling for a Humidex of 40º Celsius or higher for two consecutive days.
The Health Unit recommends the following tips to avoid the risks of heat-related illness:
- Drink plenty of water and natural juices throughout the day, even if you don't feel very thirsty.
- Never leave a child or pet in a parked car or sleeping outside in direct sunlight.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as well as coffee and cola.
- When possible, avoid spending too much time outdoors. If you must be outside, seek shade as much as possible. Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or evening.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors.
- Keep shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home.
- Avoid turning on electric lights in your home.
- Take a cool bath or shower periodically or cool down with cool, wet towels.
- Avoid eating heavy meals and using your oven.
- Avoid intense or moderately intense physical activity.
- Use fans to draw cool air at night, but do not rely on a fan as a primary cooling device during extended periods of excessive heat.
- Reduce the use of personal vehicles, stop unnecessary idling; avoid using oil-based paints and glues, pesticides, and gas-powered small engines.
Visit: www.healthunit.com/extreme-heat for more information on heat-related illness.
Morgan Lobzun, Communications Coordinator, Middlesex-London Health Unit,
David Pavletic, Food Safety & Healthy Environments Manager, Middlesex-London