Summer heat waves like this one might soon become the new normal

If you think this summer has been a long, hot one in Montreal, there are suggestions that this kind of summer may become the new summertime normal.

Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips tells CTV News Channel that as the planet gets hotter in general, what we now consider a heat wave may just become normal summer weather in the years and decades to come.

"The world is warmer, it's been warming up for 30 years, and so it shouldn't surprise us that we're having these heat waves," Phillips says. "So what we're calling an extreme global heat wave this summer...we'll be describing that in 20 years as summer. We're seeing a dress rehearsal, a dry run of what we're going to see in the future. It's a matter of getting used to it, and it may be even more intense and more frequent and longer-lasting in the years to come."

That has the Environmental Council of Montreal speaking out about what's called urban heat islands — places like large parking lots and department store roofs that are void of vegetation.

The Council's Emmanuel Rondia says the city should take the initiative and start adding more green spaces around the city to help make the urban concrete jungle a little bit more livable in the summer.

"By increasing tree and vegetation cover it help reduce air temperature," he says.

Meanwhile, there is a sliver of good news for Montrealers suffering through the current heat wave — on Tuesday, we're expecting high temperatures to reach 27 degrees, with Humidex values topping out at around 35. That won't make sleeping much easier, but it's a far cry from the 42 reading we reached on Monday.

Wednesday's forecast is calling for showers and 28 degrees. By Thursday, the high will reach 25 with more rain showers. Thursday night's low will be a comfortable 14 degrees.