Central Canada swelters in hot, humid weather
Published Friday, July 6, 2012 8:40AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 6, 2012 6:55PM EDT
Residents in Central Canada sought refuge in pools and air-conditioned environments on Friday as an oppressive air mass wrapped the region in a blanket of heat and humidity.
Toronto broke its previous high temperature record for July 6, after the mercury hit 35 C at Pearson Airport around 3 p.m.
Previously, the hottest July 6 on record in Toronto was in 1988, when the temperature reached a sweltering 34.7 C. The lowest recorded temperature of 5.6 C was recorded in 1965.
An extreme heat alert was issued in Toronto for the third-consecutive day as a heat wave continued to wash across the city.
Temperatures reached as high as 37 C in southern Ontario, and humidex advisories were issued across the province and into Quebec.
The advisory warned the public, especially those susceptible to heat stress, to stay in air-conditioned places and shady areas, drink plenty of water and limit physical activity.
Environment Canada issued a weather warning for the Montreal area, where humidex values were expected to reach into the 40s thanks to a hot air mass from the Great Lakes.
Environment Canada also said there was a humidex value of nine – or very high – which would make it feel more like mid-40s or higher.
Dave Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist, said it was the 12th day this year that Toronto’s temperature had reached 30 C. The city would usually see 14 such days over the course of an average summer.
“You can almost see the heat rising from the pavement,” Phillips told CTV News Channel in a phone interview from his Toronto office.
“We are still two weeks away from the dog days of summer, when we typically get our warmest weather… Everything is well ahead of schedule and, my gosh, summer is just beginning.”
Oppressive temperatures were stretching across Central Canada. In Ottawa, a high of 33 C was expected. In Windsor, temperatures were expected to return to 36 C, after a slight reprieve on Thursday.
Phillips said Toronto and Eastern Canada can expect a break in the heat come over the weekend. The Toronto and Windsor area will be down to 25 C by Monday or Tuesday.
But temperatures will increase through next week, reaching back into the mid-30s by Wednesday.
“What we are seeing from a health concern is the very warm nights. Temperatures don’t cool off to below 20 degrees,” Phillips said. “You can almost take the 32 C during the day … but at night when the winds die down, that 22 or 23 can make it extremely oppressive.”
Central Canada won’t receive much pity from the West, where a hot air mass that has been wreaking havoc in the U.S. moves its way into the area.
After days of cooler weather, the stretch of country from British Columbia to Manitoba will begin to see temperatures rise into the mid-20s through the weekend.
“There are some pretty happy people out west. They have been waiting for this,” Phillips said. “They have been waiting patiently for it from Vancouver to Winnipeg. They are about to see some pretty warm temperatures.”
Phillips said the Calgary Stampede will see one of its hottest starts in its 100-year history, with temperatures in the 30s on Friday.
“It is rare to get a temperature in the 30s in Calgary, and it is coming at the right time for that country,” he said.