'Warmest, muggiest, steamiest day': Heat warnings for Ontario, Quebec, East Coast

As Canadians in parts of Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada sweat it out during what is likely their first hot weather event of the season, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist says this year’s summertime heat will be more bearable than last year.

Environment Canada has issued heat warnings for parts of Ontario, southern Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia with humidex values expected to reach near 40 in many places on Friday afternoon.

“This may be for many parts of central and eastern Canada the warmest, the muggiest, the steamiest day of the summer,” Environment Canada Senior Climatologist Dave Phillips told CTV News Channel on Friday.

While the country’s western provinces have already enjoyed numerous days of warm, sunny weather, people in Ontario, Quebec, and the East Coast had been dealing with average summer conditions following a cool, rainy spring.

“My gosh! Dawson, Yukon has had two more days above 30 C than Toronto. We’ve been missing it here in the city and certainly in other parts of eastern Canada,” Phillips said.

Toronto will experience that heat on Friday with daytime maximum temperature of 31 C and a humidex of 41, according to Environment Canada. Those temperatures are predicted to linger into Saturday morning before a cold front makes its way into the region.

Moving east, the sweltering conditions will be even more intense for Montrealers who are expected to be hit with a daytime high of 32 C and a humidex value of 40 before cooling slightly on Saturday.

In Fredericton, the daytime high is predicted to reach a scorching 33 C accompanied by a humidex of 39. Saturday won’t bring much relief with similar conditions expected before the change of a thunderstorm late in the afternoon.

Those in Halifax will also need to seek shade as they grapple with a daytime high of 32 C and a humidex of 37 on Friday. They’re also expected to experience similar temperatures on Saturday before Sunday brings some welcome relief.

Although the heat and humidity is expected to last for two days in most areas, Phillips said the two-day event pales in comparison to last year’s extended periods of warm weather.

“We know last year already at this time we had places that had 13 days above 30 and we’ve seen maybe one or two days so far this year,” he said.

Depending on the region, Phillips said Environment Canada issues heat warnings when the afternoon daytime high is expected ot surpass 30 C and temperatures at night stay above 20 C. Those temperatures are usually accompanied by humidex values approaching or in the low 40s. He also said the expected number of consecutive days of such conditions will also factor into the decision to issue a heat warning.

“Sometimes you need those conditions to happen two days in a row because it’s the duration of this that bothers,” he said.

Environment Canada explains that heat warnings are issued when very high temperatures or humidity conditions pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Phillips said those looking to beat the heat should stay out of the sun, keep hydrated and wear light clothing. He also advised anyone working outdoors to take more breaks.

Additionally, Phillips asked people to check on their neighbours and relatives who live alone to ensure they’re managing.