How to Prepare for Summer’s Severe Weather: Heat & Humidity

Sun with thermometerHumidity refers to the amount of water vapour in the air, and during the hottest days of summer, higher levels of humidity can pose some major health risks if you’re not careful. On humid days, people feel even hotter than they would on a dry day because their perspiration doesn’t evaporate as quickly in muggy, saturated air.

The humidex—a parameter developed by Canadian meteorologists to combine temperature and humidity—reflects how hot it really feels… the perceived temperature. Although extremely high readings are rather rare in most parts of Canada, the southern parts of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba are all “hot spots.” The highest recorded humidex reading was 52.1 in June of 1953 in Windsor, Ontario.

But even in relatively cooler regions of Canada, heat and humidity can be dangerous, causing dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If the humidex is showing temperatures close to, or above, 40 degrees Celsius, then you’ll want to be aware and careful. Here are a few ways to avoid risking your health, when you’re living through some hot and humid days.

  1. Avoid physical labour or intense exercise if it is very hot or humid outside.
  2. Find a cooler place if your body is becoming overheated where you’re situated.
  3. If you need to be outdoors, ensure that you drink liquids regularly and rest often. If you are away from home a lot during the summer, it’s a good idea to keep water in you car so that you can always be sure of staying hydrated.
  4. Avoid high-protein foods.
  5. Keep up your body’s salt levels, because you’ll be losing excess salt through your perspiration.
  6. Keep an eye out for any medical conditions developing, either in yourself or the people around you.

These tips are especially important to consider if you’re traveling during the summer and find yourself in a place that’s hotter than what you’re used to! Please use extra caution in unfamiliar regions and have a safe summer! Oh, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io

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