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A short week ago, we were looking for a break in the rain. This week, a break in the humidity might be nice. Yes, we are under an extreme heat alert, with the humidex pushing temperatures into the 40s this week. The Middlesex London Health Unit issued the area’s second heat alert of the year yesterday, and it is expected to last until Thursday. I’d say that’s a perfect time to find any way possible to escape the heat in London, Ontario.

Escape the Heat

  • Have you been to the beach yet? Now is certainly the time! Grab your swimsuit, towel, a beach umbrella and don’t forget your sunscreen! Make sure you drink plenty of water while you are there.
  • You are never too old for a splash park. The City of London operates splash pads at several locations between 9am and 9pm. This is a great way to cool down fast, plus it’s FREE!

    Splash Pads are a great way to beat the heat

      • Gibbons
      • Rowntree
      • Lambeth
      • Forks of Thames
      • Kiwanis
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      • Bonaventure
      • Jesse Davidson
      • South East Optimist
      • Oakridge
      • Ed Blake Park
      • Medway
  • If a splash park isn’t your thing, head to one of London’s many Libraries or Community Centres. They’ve got air conditioning, activities planned throughout the summer, and are free for you to beat the heat.
  • A cool shower can bring your body temperature down quick

    Another great way to cool off is to step into a cool and refreshing shower or bath. Whether you have air conditioning at home or not, a quick trip into a stream of cool water will bring your body temperature down and help you to cope with the  extreme heat we are suffering through.

  • Along the same kind of lines, bring down your core temperature with cool cloths to the body. How about tucking a set of sheets into the freezer, pulling them out at bedtime, and melting into their cool, crisp embrace to drift off to dreamland.
  • How about a spritz every now and then? If jumping into the shower every 10 minutes isn’t possible, but you need something more than a damp towel on your head, then how about a spritz bottle to prevent a meltdown. Start at your wrists and move on from there.
  • Take regular breaks to ensure you keep cool during the heat of the day

    Take a break. From whatever activity you are doing. Even if that is typing away at your computer. Make sure your computer takes a break too, as when it goes into a low-power state it will produce less heat. Doesn’t that make sense all around?

  • What about the obvious one – drink more water! Skip the colas, coffees and coolers. Alcohol, caffeine and sugary sodas just dehydrate you. Stick to fruit juices, sports drinks and good old-fashioned water to quench your thirst.
  • Prevent temperatures from soaring in your home in the first place. Keep blinds closed during the day to keep the sun’s punishing rays out. Open windows at night to let in the cooler breezes. Don’t use the oven or stove to heat up your home. Turn off the lights to reduce your power usage and any heat that your light bulbs create. Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature for when you are home, but allow it to raise during periods when you aren’t home (programmable thermostats save you energy and money). Think smarter, not harder!

How are you beating the heat wave in Southwestern Ontario this week?

 

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Summer is officially here. Cottagers have fled to the country to relax far from home. Trailer parks have filled up with families looking for fun in the sun. And those left behind are looking for ways to beat the heat in the middle of the sweltering city. If you’ve got a pool, now is the time to use it! If you don’t, better make friend with your nearest neighbour that has. If even that seems like a stretch, take heart in the fact that you aren’t alone. Are you one of those folks? Don’t sweat it. Someone has to keep the economy going, right? The weekend will be here before you know it, but in the mean time there are plenty of ways to keep cool in your own backyard.

Ways to Beat the Heat

  • Plan a backyard picnic. Carve up a watermelon. Pull out your beach umbrella and sit with your feet in a kiddie pool full of ice. Refreshing!
  • How about making an ice bowl full of your favourite summer drink? Fill it full of edible flowers (ie, nasturtium, pansy, roses, day lilies, lilac, etc) or fruits (orange, lemon or lime slices) before freezing for a beautiful display piece that people will talk about long after the punch is gone.
  • If you have work to do around the yard, why not beat the heat by tackling your garden projects early in the morning or later in the day. Avoid the scorching mid-day sun and fit in a siesta instead.
  • Sprinklers aren’t just for the kids anymore. If you have to water the grass, gardens or trees in your yard, why stop there? When the temperature hits 30°C and keeps on rising, shed your inhibitions with your shoes and run through that cool water once or twice. Can’t beat feeling like a cool kid again.
  • Time to ditch the oven for the barbeque. You don’t want to heat up the house any more than it already is. Steaks and burgers are always welcome, but why not expand your bbq repertoire with pizza, veggies or even fruit! Anyone for stuffed peaches on the grill (via bbq.com)?

STUFFED PEACHES ON THE GRILL

Ingredients:

  • 4 large peaches
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

Wash and halve peaches. Remove pit. Place peaches on aluminum foil so that you can fold up the foil and seal the peaches in. Spoon 2 tablespoons of berries into each peach half. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of brown sugar on each and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Fold up foil and seal. Place on hot grill and cook for 15-18 minutes Turn once. Serve right out of the foil.

What’s your favourite way to beat the heat?


The forecast in London is hot, Hot and HOTTER this week. Summer has arrived on a heat wave that sports our first Humidex advisory. In Canada, a humidex advisory is issued when temperatures reach 30°C or higher. The humidex is really a combination of heat and humidity though, which is a better gauge of comfort levels. As all folks that have lived in Southwestern Ontario can tell you, humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. So a high temperature might be hot, but when you factor in that saturating humidity, the result can be stifling.

Environment Canada doesn’t announce humidex advisories just for fun. When the humidex rating inches higher, your body has a harder time keeping up. All that moisture in the air means that your body can’t properly perspire and regulate its internal temperature. You should increase water intake, reduce physical exertions, and seek cooler conditions when possible. Wear loose-fitting clothes, sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. The elderly, young children, people with compromised immune systems, and pets are all more vulnerable, so require more attention. If you have spent any time outdoors in the heat of one of our heat waves, you know how miserable they can be. Air like sludge isn’t fun for anyone, and that goes for the fit and feeble anywhere. It’s a wonder that it took until 1965 for Canadians to come up with the humidex scale!

Here is the Humidex Table and Humidex for Relative Humidity Scales from 100% to 65% from the Environment Canada website. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to go from fine to fried.

Humidex Degree of Comfort
20 – 29 No discomfort
30 – 39 Some discomfort
40 – 45 Great discomfort; avoid exertion
46 and over Dangerous; possible heat stroke

☼☼☼

Relative Humidity (%)
Temperature (°C)
100% 95% 90% 85% 80% 75% 70% 65%
21 °C 29 29 28 27 27 26 26 24
22 °C 31 29 29 28 28 27 26 26
23 °C 33 32 32 31 30 29 28 27
24 °C 35 34 33 33 32 31 30 29
25 °C 37 36 35 34 33 33 32 31
26 °C 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32
27 °C 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34
28 °C 43 42 41 41 39 38 37 36
29 °C 46 45 44 43 42 41 39 38
30 °C 48 47 46 44 43 42 41 40
31 °C 50 49 48 46 45 44 43 41
32 °C 52 51 50 49 47 46 45 43
33 °C 55 54 52 51 50 48 47 46
34 °C 58 57 55 53 52 51 49 48
35 °C   58 57 56 54 52 51 49
36 °C     58 57 56 54 53 51
37 °C         58 57 55 53
38 °C             57 56

So how do you combat the heat in Southwestern Ontario? It’s time to dine after dark, ditch the oven for the grille, and take up swimming versus sun worshipping. Remember to drink plenty of fluids (water or other salt-replenishing drinks), and think about joining your kids in the sprinkler (on your water days – If your street address ends with a 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 you may use water outdoors on EVEN numbered calendar days only. If your street address ends with a 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 you may use water outdoors on ODD numbered calendar days only). If it’s your off day, head to one of London’s many splash pads or pools. Plenty of them are free, while others host days with reduced admission throughout the summer. Most libraries and community centres have air-conditioned facilities as well. Heck, even a trip to the movie theatre is a great way to entertain the family in a cool environment for a couple of hours! It is well worth the gamble of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or any of the other uncomfortable aspects that come with our summer humidity.

Keep cool this summer Londoners!

It has certainly been a hot summer so far this year, especially in London, Ontario. We are in the grip of yet another heat alert and temperatures don’t look like they will be dropping much any time soon. So how do you beat the heat when the thermometer keeps on going up? Whatever you do, better keep it up, as The Weather Network suggests that highs will remain at least around the 30C mark for the next little while.

 

Ways to Beat the Heat

  • Keep Hydrated People!

    Lower the blinds of your home during the day to keep out the sun’s rays. You will be doing your air conditioner a favour, by not making it work so hard. Don’t forget to keep all windows and doors closed while that a/c is cranking away.

  • Keep hydrated! Make sure to drink lots of water and other beverages to prevent dehydration and/or heat stroke.
  • Avoid being out in the heat during the hottest part of the day (10am-4pm). If you have to be out there, don’t forget your sunscreen, a hat or even an umbrella to keep those punishing rays off you.
  • Visit one of London, Ontario’s many splash pads to keep cool

    If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, take advantage of the City of London’s facilities to help beat the heat. Visit a spray pad, outdoor pool, library, or community centre and take advantage of their cool spaces.

  • If you do have air conditioning, make the most of it and turn it on! Remember to turn it down during the day when no one is at home. A programmable thermostat is the best way to set it and forget it!
  • If an old-fashioned window shaker or fan is the best you’ve got, don’t knock it. Make sure your fan is oscillating to keep the air circulating around the room, and pull your chair a little closer to the a/c unit in the window.
  • Run major appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine or dryer in the evening after the temperature drops. Your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to counteract the other appliances effects.
  • Time to fire up the grille!

    Forget the oven, think cold dinners or the barbeque! Turning on the oven just heats up the house. When the temperatures inside and out are out of control, give yourself a break by taking the heat outdoors. Most appetites decrease anyway in this heat, so think a nice crisp salad instead!
  • Even if you have central air, turning on overhead fans to help keep your home more comfortable. This will also help reduce energy bills that are increased with the a/c running 24/7. Make sure to have your air conditioner serviced to ensure that it is running at its peak.
  • Change air filters on your furnace to help it run more efficiently. You can also install weather-stripping around windows and doors to decrease air flow. You’ve worked so hard to keep your home cool. Make sure it stays that way, by keeping the heat out!
  • If all else fails, a cool wash cloth, a bucket of ice or retreating to the basement are all ways to beat the heat during the worst of the days heat.

 

How do you keep cool during heat waves? Share your ideas on how to beat the heat this summer! 

 

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