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Sunny and warm weekend in store for Prince George

Heath authority warning people to take precautions to avoid getting too much sun and overheating
Kids in sprinkler heat
A water hose might come in handy this weekend with summer-like temperatures on the way for the next three days in Prince George.

The first official weekend of summer is going to be a good one weather-wise, with nothing but sunshine and warm temperatures in the forecast for the next three days.

Although there is a risk of frost and a low of 4 C tonight predicted by Environment Canada, high temperatures will range from 24 C Saturday to 26 C Sunday and Monday with no chance of rain as a ridge of high pressure takes over the province.

There has been measurable rain on nine of the first 24 days of June for a total of 53.2 millimetres and Tuesday will bring a return to cloudy skies with a 60 per cent chance of rain falling that day. But the sun is expected o return Wednesday and Thursday next week with highs ranging from 24-26 C.

A year ago at this time, a killer heat dome was creeping into the province, bringing record-breaking temperatures and an extended hot spell that was blamed for the deaths of 619 British Columbians, including 14 people who succumbed to the heat in Prince George.

For five days, starting June 26, 2021, the city recorded highs in the 30s, including two days of 38 C (June 28 and 29) and one day in which the mercury reached 36 C (June 27).

The highest temperature ever recorded in Canada happened on June 29 in the Interior village of Lytton when it hit 49.6 C (121 F) on June 29. The following day, almost the entire town was destroyed in a wildfire that claimed the lives of two people.

While this weekend’s temperatures wont be anywhere close to that of the last week of June 2021, the Northern Health Authority posted a release Friday in response to special weather statements issued by Environment Canada to warn residents of the potentially deadly effects of summer heat.

Many mountainous parts of the province still have above-average snowpacks which will rapidly melt in the weekend heat and people are being asked to watch for flooding near rivers and streams.

People are also prone to overheating during the first extended hot spell when their bodies are not used to it, so be prepared and try to stay out of direct sunshine.

Here are some other hot weather safety tips from Northern Health

Preparing for hot weather

• If you do not have air conditioning at home, find an air-conditioned spot close by where you can cool off on hot days. Consider places in your community to spend time such as movie theatres, libraries, community centres, or shopping malls.

• Check that you have a working fan. If you have an air conditioner, make sure it works.

* Shut windows and close curtains or blinds during the heat of the day to block the sun and to prevent hotter outdoor air from coming inside. Open doors and windows when it is cooler outside to move that cooler air indoors.

The BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) also has a broad range of heat-related information on its website, including information on the different types of heat alerts, how to prepare for warmer temperatures, symptoms of heat-related illnesses, those most at risk during warmer weather, and ways to stay cool.

Who is most at risk?

It is important to monitor yourself and family members, and to consider developing a check-in system for neighbours and friends who are at higher-risk during warmer weather

The most susceptible individuals include:

• Older adults, especially those over 60

• people who live alone

• people with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or respiratory disease

• people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety

• people with substance use disorders

• people with limited mobility

• people who are marginally housed

• people who work in hot environments

• people who are pregnant

• infants and young children

Your health

• Spray your body down with water, wear a damp shirt, take a cool shower or bath, or sit with part of your body in water to cool down if you are feeling too hot.

• Drink plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated, even if you are not feeling thirsty

• Take it easy, especially during the hottest hours of the day.

• Stay in the shade or use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.

• Signs of overheating include feeling unwell, headache, and dizziness. Take immediate action to cool down if you are overheating.

• It is important to remember that overheating can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

• Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, severe headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst, and dark urine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, seek a cooler environment, drink plenty of water, rest, and use water to cool your body.

• Heat stroke is a medical emergency

In the event of a medical emergency, British Columbians are advised to call 9-1-1 or their local emergency services number. However, it is also important to use these systems responsibly to avoid overwhelming the system.

Ahead of the busy summer months, BC Emergency Health Services in partnership with ECOMM, is reminding British Columbians to only dial 9-1-1 for serious or life-threatening injuries.

When to call 9-1-1

• In general: when there is chest pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, severe burns, choking, convulsions that are not stopping, a drowning, a severe allergic reaction, a head injury, signs of a stroke, a major trauma.

• More specifically related to hot weather: severe headache, confusion, unsteadiness, loss of thirst, nausea/vomiting, and dark urine or no urine are signs of dangerous heat-related illness.

If you have a less urgent health issue:

• You can call 8-1-1 and get connected with a nurse at HealthLinkBC. Or, if you can do it safely, you could go to an urgent care centre or clinic.

• That way, our highly trained emergency medical dispatch staff and paramedics will be available for people who need their services the most.

• There are also online tools at healthlinkbc.ca including a “Check Your Symptoms” tool.