A new harmonized Heat Alert Response System (HARS) was piloted in Southern Ontario in the summer of 2015. Are these new public health heat warning protocols sufficient to respond to the needs of mass gathering organizers, spectators, athletes and public health agencies?
Health-related impacts of extreme heat and humidity on select days during the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games will be examined to improve how the Meteorological Service of Canada supports public health alerting for mass gatherings such as large outdoor sporting events. On the days when the 2015 Pan Am Women's Marathon and Men's Bronze Medal Soccer match were held, higher than normal temperatures and relative humidity were experienced. This case study will explore the effectiveness of various heat-health related initiatives in Canada during these events.
An observational Mesonet put in place for increased resolution forecasting and service capabilities for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games provided additional data for this analysis. Temperature observations and various calculated heat indices (Canadian Humidex, UTCI, Apparent Temperature, and WBGT) will be shown and compared for their value for public health alerting and planning of mass gatherings.