It’s been on the news in the UK and anyone here in Vancouver will have been acutely aware of the heat wave we had last week. We were in a heat dome cause by La Niña pushing a bunch of hot air over the Pacific North West and BC which meant that there was hot, stifling sunshine for about five days, leading to temperatures hovering around 38°C, over 100 heat-related deaths in Vancouver, and one town about four hours drive away literally being burnt to the ground in under 30 minutes because of wildfires.
Actually a really horrible weekend all things considered.
We basically stayed indoors the whole weekend avoiding being in the sun. We strategically planned trips each day to bask in air conditioning in different places – Saturday we had lunch in Subway, Sunday we saw A Quiet Place 2 in the cinema, and Monday we had dinner in McDonald’s. When we were home we each had a fan pointing at us on full blast, and each filled a bowl with cold water to put our feet in. We bought ice so that we could keep replenishing icy water to keep hydrated, and cold showers also helped.
It was heat like I’ve never felt before. We were discussing other times we may have experienced that heat – both of us went to Disney in Florida as kids in the summer holidays, but I remember my family excitedly watching the temperature dial in the car roll to 100°F one day – so not as hot as this last weekend here, and certainly a locale a lot more prepared for that temperature with AC everywhere and misters too. Even when we went to Hawaii last year, the temperature peaked around 35°C, and the cool ocean breeze went a long way too.
When we left the cinema on Sunday and walked outside it felt like being blasted in the face by a hand dryer. We decided to take a walk around the block as we were downtown and actually feeling cool from the hours spent in AC, and by the time we got to the end of the block kind of regretted the decision.
Over the weekend I binged the whole first series of Schitt’s Creek. I couldn’t focus on anything, so just let Netflix keep rolling. Any time we saw neighbours they were asking how I was coping in the heat – I didn’t tell them about the TV binge, just that we were mostly staying indoors! The termostat in our apartment was actually off the chart for two days, as you can see in the photo above.
Monday evening we went for a walk down at one of our local beaches. It was lovely to dip our feet in the water and cool off in a light breeze. We then walked down to the showers to clean our feet, and just that short walk had me sweating. The temperature was still in the 31°C even at 9.30pm. That night I ended up moving to the sofa to sleep at about 5am because I realised there was a breeze coming through the balcony door.
Thankfully Tuesday saw the temperature drop down to the mid 30s and with the breeze it felt much more bearable. Wednesday evening we took our BBQ and some friends down to the beach and enjoyed a lovely summer evening there. The rest of the week has been in the mid 20s and somehow still feels hot… I guess pregnancy does a lot for that!
We’re hoping that these temperatures will stick around, not only for my comfort, but moreso for the province. The wildfires I mentioned before are now pretty rampant and aggressive doing a lot of damage to homes and forests. It’s been like this every summer since 2016 here apparently. The air quality also gets really bad as smoke covers the city – not ideal for anyone suffering from any Covid related illness. So here’s hoping for a prolonged cooler spell and perhaps some rain too!