|Forum topic by GMman||posted 07-06-2010 02:29 PM||1175 views||0 times favorited||16 replies|
07-06-2010 02:29 PM
Heat warnings continue across Ontario, Quebec
06/07/2010 8:03:59 AM
CTV.ca News Staff
A southern flow of hot air from the south—called the Bermuda High—has blanketed the area and is acting like a heat pump, moving warm, southerly air from the Gulf of Mexico northward.
The heat and humidity isn’t expected to break until at least Friday, when a cold front is forecast to sweep in and drop temperatures closer to seasonal norms of about 25 or 26 Celsius.
Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips says if it feels like this heat wave is hitting us hard, it’s because it’s been so long since we’ve had a long, withering bout of the three H’s: heat, humidity and haze.
“This is the first heat wave in, I think, three years for this area and that’s why it’s sort of noteworthy… And the humidity is so high, probably because of all that precipitation we had in June,” he told CTV’s Canada AM Tuesday morning.
Phillips notes that while we’ve already seen a few very hot days across Canada this summer, it’s the humidity element that makes the heat so dangerous.
“In this kind of heat wave we have now, when you add in that humidity factor, the air is just saturated with moisture and the body just can’t perspire. So we often see health problems associated with that,” he said.
Once again today, Environment Canada has issued smog and humidex advisories for parts of Ontario and Quebec. Humidex values are expected to be in the 40-degree range. The advisory covers southern Ontario and southern Quebec, from Windsor, to Montreal and the St. Lawrence River.
Many affected cities have opened special cooling centres and are urging people to use them. Those most at risk of heat stroke, such as young children, seniors, and those on certain medications, should try to spend the day in air-conditioned facilities, such as shopping malls, libraries and community centres.
For those whose jobs depend on being outside, Dr. Lillian Wong of the Ontario Ministry of Labour recommends taking frequent breaks, drinking plenty of water and staying in shady areas when possible.
The heat wave has already claimed the life of a homeless woman in suburban Detroit on Sunday.
With so many residents expected to crank up the air conditioning today, power utilities across Ontario, Quebec and in parts of the eastern U.S. are preparing for maximum demand, trying to avoid the blackout that hit a large swath of Toronto on Monday, leaving tens of thousands of people without power.