Oppressive heat, humidity continue for eastern half of Canada

Scott Sutherland

Residents of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes are enduring another day of oppressive heat and humidity today, as a dome of high pressure stretching from Georgia to north of Georgian Bay blankets the eastern half of the country with sauna-like conditions.

Temperatures from Thunder Bay to Halifax are expected to reach into the 30s today, with many cities from Windsor to Quebec City already reaching that late this morning. The humidity is what's making things so miserable though, and humidex values adding roughly 10 degrees onto how all those temperatures feel right now.

Windsor reached a humidex of 41 as of 10 am, and the rest of southern Ontario followed along in the hours after, with London getting the highest value in the area so far, with a humidex 42. Other cities like Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Toronto, and up in Sudbury have reached a humidex of 38 so far, and Ottawa has got up to 39 so far.

Southwestern Quebec is under this same stifling air mass, with humidex values pushing 40 in Montreal and through the St. Lawrence Valley, and reaching up to 41 in the Ottawa Valley to the northwest.

Further to the east, in New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia, temperatures are also reaching up into the high 20s and low 30s. However, even though their humidity is roughly the same as what's being experienced further inland, northeast winds into the area are keeping humidex levels at a much more comfortable level.

[ Related: Hot, sticky weather settles in over Ontario, Quebec, and Eastern Canada ]

Most of southern Ontario is still under a humidex advisory, due to values reaching into the high 30s, and the City of Toronto has issued an Extreme Heat Alert as of this morning. According to the alert:

During an Extreme Heat Alert, call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness, to make sure they are okay. Other groups at risk include people with chronic and pre-existing illnesses, infants and young children, people on certain medications and those who are marginally housed or homeless.

The city has posted an interactive map showing all the public places that people can go to to get away from the heat, and several cooling stations have also been opened to help:

• Centennial Recreation Centre, on Ellesmere west of Markham
• Driftwood Community Centre, on Jane north of Finch
• East York Civic Centre, at Coxwell and Mortimer
• Etobicoke Civic Centre, at Burnhamthorpe Road and The West Mall
• McGregor Community Centre, on Lawrence east of Birchmount
• Metro Hall, at John and King, downtown
• North York Civic Centre, at Yonge and Sheppard

All locations are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., except Metro Hall, which is open 24 hours.

Southwestern Quebec remains under a Heat and Humidity Warning today as well, as humidex values are expected to climb above 40 there. At that level, the weather poses some danger of heat exhaustion and heat stroke for anyone who can't escape the heat and humidity for any length of time.

In Montreal, the city has extended hours of operation for pools and water games, at parc Painter, parc Saint-Laurent, parc Bourbonnière, parc Noël-Nord, to help residents beat the heat. Additionally, temporary cooling stations have been installed around Saint-Laurent, which will remain open until 10 p.m., and the Centre des loisirs de Saint-Laurent, located at 1375, rue Grenet, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. to help residents escape the heat.

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As always in these conditions, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, limit your outdoor (or indoor without air conditioning) activity as much as possible, take frequent breaks if you must be working in unfavourable conditions, and seek out air conditioned havens if you can.

(Photo courtesy: The Canadian Press)

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