Opinion: The heat is on

But Chilliwack residents could be excused for thinking summer started months ago.

Canada Day has long been the unofficial start of summer. This week, school playgrounds stood quiet for the first time in a long time as students traded their books for beachwear.

But Chilliwack residents could be excused for thinking summer started months ago.

It has been hot, and unseasonably dry for the past three months. And that’s not just a casual observation; it’s borne out by the statistics.

The hot weather is expected to continue this week, with consecutive days of above 30 degree heat, and Sunday’s high expected to reach 34C.

For some, the warm weather is a welcome change from our dark and sometimes dreary winters.

For others, however, it poses a real risk. Seniors in particular are vulnerable to the extreme heat. Not only is it more difficult for their bodies to regulate temperatures, but the heat may also exacerbate other medical conditions.

Chilliwack has a great tradition of helping elderly residents clear snow in the wintertime.

We need to be equally vigilant during the summer. If you know someone who may be affected by the hot weather, offer them a ride to the grocery store, even if the distance is short. Ensure they have adequate supplies at home. Or just check on them from time to time to make sure everything is all right.

Of course, there are precautions we should all take in this heat. Proper hydration and the liberal application of sunscreen is a must.

And remember your pets. A car becomes a coffin in just minutes even if the windows are open. Leave your animals at home, or take them with you. But never leave them in a vehicle.

Weather experts are predicting a hot dry summer for B.C.

But it won’t be long before we’re all complaining about the rain again.

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