We’ve had hot spells in British Columbia before but nothing like this and it has been totally miserable for many people.
The small community in Lytton, British Columbia, is now on the international map for breaking the Canadian record for heat. On Monday 28 June 2021 the temperature went up to 47.5c, that is 117.5f. Even in our neighbourhood, we had a “feel like” temperature of 117f. [Source: Global BC]
It was reported that 25 people have died in a 24 hour period in the City of Burnaby due to the heat. [Source: CBC]
Emergency services have been affected as they can’t keep up with the demand of people falling sick due to the heat.
Schools and other services closed down, as a result, I am very pleased because it’s not right to put children or staff under such torture.
Moderate British Columbia
We are not used to the heat here in BC, we have a moderate climate and many complain when the temperature reaches 23c. It’s very difficult to manage temperatures into the 40s.
The majority of larger stores are set up with air conditioning. This is good otherwise their products will spoil and they won’t have any customers. Customers have to be comfortable while shopping. Smaller outlets are not equipped to handle the heat and even if restaurants have air conditioning it still creates an impossible kitchen environment for staff.
Very few homes are equipped with air conditioning so they survive on fans.
How Have We Coped?
It’s been an extremely tough couple of days. Every room in our place is about 30c and no air, it’s been impossible to deal with, I’ve felt very sick. The coolest parts of our place are our bathrooms, I actually tried to sleep on the toilet floor I was that desperate.
We can go down to the garage which is quite cool and have sat in the car to cool off. However, it is dark with no wifi/cell signal so there is little you can do to be productive. However, it is a moment of respite from the sickening heat.
Some neighbours have experienced hotter temperatures in their homes, I don’t know how they have coped, it’s very difficult to escape it. I’ve heard of acquaintances toothpaste and butter turn to liquid due to the heat.
We could go out to shopping malls but that means going out in the heat, having to wear masks that are uncomfortable during the heat, leaving the car to blister outside and difficult to return to.
Yesterday I couldn’t even turn my computer on, I was fearful that it would die in the heat. It’s a large desktop so there is nowhere I can move it to.
When Will It Get Better?
Today, Tuesday 29 June, the high is 34c, still very uncomfortably hot. There is no wind or air coming throughout the home to cool it down.
Tomorrow, Wednesday 30 June, the high is supposed to be slightly cooler at 28c. Not much lower but hopefully we can do things in the early morning/late evening. Hopefully, the days to come will mean lower temperatures so we can start to function as normal human beings.
Is this a one-off or can we expect more of the same during the year? Is this the shape of things to come for the future? I’ve heard different commentary from different resources, that it’s partly or wholly related to climate change. Clearly, this is a lesson learned and we can’t go through this discomfort again, everyone should review what they need to do to make life more comfortable for them in the future. We cannot have people die due to the heat. It’s too expensive for many people to have air conditioning installed so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a requirement when people are buying properties in the future.