Beat the heat: Residents find ways to deal with the temperature

Environment Canada is predicting temperatures in the Cowichan Valley to reach at least 30 degrees Celsius Friday.

Dave Pady said he drinks lots of water when the weather turns hot.

He said he also likes to spend time swimming in local lakes and rivers, and hike in shady areas of the forest where the heat isn’t so intense.

“It only gets really hot here for two or three weeks of the year, so I see it as something to be enjoyed,” said Pady as he ate his lunch in the shade in Duncan’s City Square on Wednesday.

“I never use air conditioning and just rely on my ceiling fan and open windows for a cool breeze. I also like to use my clothesline instead of my dryer to dry my clothes in the hot season because it reduces energy and my clothes smell so nice.”

Environment Canada is predicting temperatures in the Cowichan Valley to reach at least 30 degrees Celsius Friday, the last of a number of days of hot weather, before the temperature is expected to begin to take a dip to the mid 20s on Saturday.

Typically, during a hot period, BC Hydro sees a spike in peak electricity demand as customers turn on fans and air conditioners to stay cool, and refrigeration units work harder.

BC Hydro recorded the highest peak hourly demand — the hour customers use the most electricity — of the summer so far at 7,320 MW on Aug. 18.

BC Hydro recommends a number of ways people can save money and energy during the hot season.

They include keeping the blinds down as shaded windows can block up to 65 per cent of the heat, using a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioner, using a clothesline instead of a dryer and cooking on a barbecue to reduce the use of stoves and ovens.

Sharon Lewis, a member of the Cowichan Tribes, said she hates the heat and will do whatever it takes to beat it.

“I get everything I need to do done as fast as I can during days like this and then head home where I can sit in the shade,” she said.

“I usually have four fans going at home in hot weather, and would use an air conditioner as well if I had one.”

But Armel Castellan, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the high-pressure system that has been over much of Vancouver Island and giving us such hot days is forecast to migrate to the west over the weekend.

“Cooler temperatures and maybe some rain may be in store for the Cowichan Valley by the beginning of the week,” he said.

For the longer term, Castellan said the forecast for the fall season is for temperatures to be above normal.

“The temperature of the sea surface remains above normal, and that has huge impacts on the weather for the Island and the Valley,” he said.

However, Castellan said that as the El Nino that has been impacting weather on the Island since last year begins to dissipate, the Valley may have a cooler winter than what has been experienced in the past few years.

“We might also expect a higher amount of precipitation over the winter months, and some of that may come as snow.”

But, whatever the future brings, Bella Ferguson is happy to enjoy the sun and heat while it’s still on.

“I really love the heat and try to enjoy it as much as I can during the summer months,” she said while taking a work break in downtown Duncan on Wednesday.

“After all, it’s only around for a while.”