TORONTO -- A heat wave that could see temperatures surpass 30 C for the next seven days may just be a “dry run” for a summer that is likely to be hot, humid and sticky, a senior climatologist for Environment Canada says.

Toronto is currently under a heat warning ahead of temperatures that are expected to hover in the low-to-mid 30s through next week.

In an interview with CP24 on Thursday afternoon, Environment Canada’s Senior Climatologist Dave Philips said that while those sorts of temperatures aren’t necessary unusual for the city at this time of year, the duration of this particular heat event is.

He said that under more ordinary circumstances the city may get up to three days of those sorts of temperatures at a time.

“We are going to see possibly seven to 10 days with temperatures that are going to be 30 or more with humidex values into the high 30s and those nighttime temperatures staying above 20 C,” he said. “It is a good old-fashioned heat wave.”

The temperature is expected to reach a high of 34 C by later this afternoon, which Phillips says makes today the hottest day of 2020 so far.

The temperature will dip ever so slightly this weekend with daytime highs of 31 C on Saturday and Sunday but the humidity could make it feel as hot as 42, at times.

“This is really a dry run,” Phillips warned. “Our models are saying that you should get used to it and that for the rest of the summer this is the kind of pattern we are going to see right through to Labour Day.”

The City of Toronto has opened 15 cooling centres ahead of the heat wave.

Six outdoor swimming pools will also remain open until 11:45 p.m. during the heat wave to give residents another way to cool off. Capacity will, however, continue to be reduced to 25 per cent in order to ensure physical distancing.

The pools with extended hours are as follows:

  • Alex Duff Pool
  • Earlscourt Park
  • Monarch Park
  • Parkway Forest
  • Smithfield Park
  • Sunnyside Park