Te Whatu Ora have issued a warning for Cantabrians to “keep cool and hydrated” this week as temperatures soar.
They said hot weather is forecast for this Thursday, with temperatures predicted to get to a maximum of 32C.
Canterbury medical health officer Dr Matt Reid said while a run of hot weather is appealing, the heat can affect everyone and overheating is a condition that can be fatal.
“It’s especially important to stay out of the sun where possible, avoid extreme physical exertion, and ensure pets and people are not left alone in stationary cars.
“While we are all vulnerable to hot temperatures, some people are particularly at risk. This includes the elderly, infants and children, women who are pregnant, people suffering from chronic, acute and severe illness,” he said.
Reid said people should:
- Avoiding going outside during the hottest time of the day
- Drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine
- Wearing lightweight, loose-fitting, light-coloured cotton clothes
He said people whose work involves “strenuous physical activity outdoors” should be careful to avoid overheating.
“It’s important people exposed to hot weather for long periods of time carry water with them and sip at least half a litre an hour, allow for more breaks in the shade, reapply sunscreen every two hours, and schedule the hardest work in the coolest part of the day.
“As well as being SunSmart (Slip, Slop, Slap & Wrap) if you have to go outside, everyone is advised to keep their houses cool by closing curtains on windows getting direct sun, opening windows to get a breeze if it’s cooler out than in, and consider using the cool cycle on heat pumps.”
He said if it’s not possible to keep your home cool, you should look to spend a few hours of the day in a cool place.
“People should keep medicines below 25 degrees Celsius or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging).
“If you feel dizzy, weak, or have an intense thirst or headache you may be dehydrated. Drink some water and rest in a cool place. If your symptoms persist or you’re concerned about your health, or someone else’s, seek medical advice.”
People can also call Healthline for free health advice.
MetService said yesterday Ashburton is expected to reach 33C on Thursday. It said most of Canterbury is likely to crack 30C.
Speaking to 1News today, MetService meteorologist Ngaire Wotherspoon said much of the country can expect warm temperatures this week.
“Largely fine weather can be expected for Northland, Auckland and Tauranga. On Sunday night a low pressure system moves in from the north and showers start to move in.
“Temperatures are above average for these areas, most noticeably overnight where they are expected to hover around the late teens. This weekend, Auckland has overnight minimum temperatures of 18C. Tauranga has overnight lows of 18 and 19C the next two nights respectively.”
She said New Plymouth will also see plenty of sun for most of the week with a few showers on Thursday.
“Further showers are expected on Sunday as the low in the north approaches, ahead of rain on Monday next week. New Plymouth escapes daytime heat for the most part with highs of 23-24C, but warm overnight temperatures are still expected, ranging from 15-18C.”
Wotherspoon said Wellington and Nelson are fine until Sunday, with temperatures creeping up and warm, sticky nights can be expected.
“There is a heat alert out for Upper Hutt tomorrow with an expected high of 29C (heat alerts are only issued for a location a day in advance, so expect more to come).”
Christchurch and Dunedin will be sunny for the most part, but with periods of high cloud and the odd shower as fronts pass up the West Coast.
Temperatures will crack 30C in Christchurch on Thursday and again over the weekend, she said.