Be cautious with first heat wave of summer
Austin Siminick, 18 months, and his mother Kim Siminick cool off at the Camrose Splash Park in on July 6 as temperatures hit 26.6 C in the afternoon. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian
There is no doubting summer is with temperatures hitting near 30 C in Camrose late last week and more of the same in the forecast for this weekend.
The bright, sunny weather had people flocking to the spray park and other refreshing options in the city looking to cool down.
With the increase in temperatures comes a reminder to monitor your hydration levels and to make sure sunscreen is applied and reapplied.
“People need to be aware of what is happening to their body and what is happening outside,” said Alberta Health Services Medical Officer Dr. Digby Horne. “The main risk is dehydration and overheating, so people should monitor how hot they are, monitor how much they are perspiring and replenish fluids accordingly.”
Horne said people need to be careful about the levels of exertion they are doing, to take more breaks, avoid exercising during the peak times of the day when it is especially hot, take breaks in air conditioned areas and seek shade when it is not an option.
“If people are feeling very weak or tired or are fainting from the heat, then they need to immediately get in a cool place, stop their activity and make sure that they are recovering appropriately,” said Horne. “In extreme circumstances if people become agitated or are hallucinating or lose consciousness and they have extremely warm, dry skin, then they need to seek medical attention right away.”
He also recommends wearing hats and loose fitting clothing which will reduce the heat load on the body.
Temperatures reached a high last week of 28.7 C on Friday an then hit 28.6 C on Sunday.
The conditions hit the tier IV soccer provincials being hosted by the Camrose District Soccer Association as well, and they found a number of ways to cope.
“The heat was tough, it took a toll on our players,” said Camrose Vikings U14 boys head coach Lowell Befus. “Heat management was hard for us, we tried lots of different techniques with wet towels, shaded tents, and everything else.”
These heat had a number of people reaching for another cooling treat as Oleo’s Ice Cream at Mirror Lake was busy throughout the heat wave.
Ice cream sales supervisor Gordon Pasiuk said there is no definitive best-seller at this time of the year, but he highly recommends going with one of their more citrus-flavoured offerings, a tangerine orange sherbet or a passion fruit sorbet.
“Very refreshing, leaves a nice clean taste on the pallet,” he said, adding they have also sold a lot of bottled water in with the heat.
Locals were given a reprieve from the heat on Tuesday with a cool drizzly rainy and a high of 15 C.
That drop in temperature and the moisture is key in keeping fire conditions under control.
According to Camrose Fire Department chief Peter Krich multiple days of high heat can dry out conditions in a hurry, as was experienced in Southern Alberta and fire bans were instituted across the region, but we did not see those type of issues here this past week. The rain early this week will ensure they do not come into play this week when temperatures are supposed to get back into the 30 C range once again.
“(Southern Alberta) had extreme heat for a lot longer than we had without any moisture, so this little bit of rain that comes in between is a bonus,” said Krich. “Now we can go back up to warming again and we will still be OK.”