Multi-day heat warning issued for Kingston area

Photo by Thiago Gomes.

Environment Canada has stated that a “multi-day heat event” is occurring and has issued a heat warning for the Kingston area.

Citing the hot and humid conditions today, Tuesday, Jul. 4, 2023, and those expected to continue throughout the week, the national weather agency advised that the heat event will see temperatures in the high twenties to low thirties, with the humidex values possibly into the low forties.

“Heat warnings are issued when very high temperature or humidity conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion,” Environment Canada stated.

The overnight lows are expected to dip down to the high teens or low twenties, and areas near the lakes could be slightly cooler than regions further inland, according to the warning.

“Hot and humid air can also bring deteriorating air quality and can result in the Air Quality Health Index approaching the high-risk category. Watch for the effects of heat illness: swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the worsening of some health conditions,” the national weather agency said.

To escape the heat, the City of Kingston has a list of cool down locations available this summer. The City notes that public holidays may affect the hours of some of these locations, so it’s best to call ahead if possible when seeking relief on a holiday. See the list here.

Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health has also issued a heat warning today.

“A heat warning is issued by Environment Canada for the KFL&A area when the forecasted maximum temperature is expected to be greater than or equal to 31°C and the lowest night-time temperature is anticipated to be at or above 20°C for a period of 2 days or longer. A warning will also be issued if the anticipated humidex is 40°C or warmer for a period of two days or longer,” the health unit stated, noting that humidex values describe how the hot and humid weather feels to the average person. It combines the temperature and humidity readings into one number to reflect the perceived temperature. The higher the humidex, the harder it is for perspiration to evaporate to cool the body.

KFL&A Public Health said that during heat events everyone is at risk; however, the health risks are greatest for:

  • older adults,
  • infants and young children,
  • people with chronic illnesses or who take certain medications,
  • people who work or who exercise in the heat, and
  • people without access to air-conditioned spaces.

“If you or a loved one is in one of these highest risk groups, KFL&A Public Health recommends designating someone, a friend or neighbour, to do a wellness check on you or them throughout the duration of the heat warning,” Public Health said.

Being prepared is key to protecting communities from negative health impacts. KFL&A Public Health recommends taking the following actions to stay cool:

  • Drinking plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty.
  • Avoiding direct sun exposure, for example, by sitting under a tree, wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat, or using an umbrella.
  • Taking a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place; take cool showers.
  • Rescheduling strenuous outdoor activity or planning outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.
  • Wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
  • Preparing a basement, or cooler part of your home, for occupancy throughout and during the heat event. 
  • Blocking the sun out by closing awnings, curtains, or blinds during the day, especially on the westerly facing side of the home or building.
  • Never leaving people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

KFL&A Public Health encourages everyone to check on their neighbours, friends, and family members, especially those who are chronically ill, and those at higher risk, to make sure that they are cool and hydrated.

More information on protective measures is available on KFL&A Public Health’s website kflaph.ca.

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