Heat dome to linger over Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes for a few more days

The heat dome event is set to last until at least Friday

Heat dome

A view of Sparks Street in Ottawa under the heat dome. A pedestrian street that is normally busy, is close to deserted. Too hot to even have a patio drink. Photo: Kerry Slack

Central and southern Ontario, parts of Quebec and the Maritime provinces are currently under a heat dome that is expected to stick around until the end of the weekend.

According to the Weather Network, a “heat dome is a popular term for when a strong ridge of high pressure sets up over part of North America, making for stagnant conditions that allow heat and humidity to build up over the course of a few days.”

Environment Canada sent out heat warnings saying that from Monday to Friday daytime highs will reach 30-35 C, while the humidex will keep it from cooling down much at night.

National preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada, Jennifer Smith, said the event is “slow-moving.”

“Such a heat wave has rarely been observed this early in June,” she said at a technical briefing on the heat wave.

According to weather information on the federal government’s website, “Daytime highs are expected to be 30 to 35 degrees Celsius with humidex values of 40 to 45. There will be little relief through the overnight as lows are expected to be 18 to 23 C with humidex values of 26 to 30. Temperatures and humidex values may be several degrees cooler near the shores of the Great Lakes.”

“Not only has it been hot, but it’s been incredibly humid,” said Smith. “The nighttime temperatures are remaining very warm. This exacerbates the heat event because there is limited relief at night.”

The humidity in the air can also cause air quality to deteriorate.

“Health risks are greater for older adults, infants and young children, pregnant people, people with disabilities and mobility issues,” said Peter Berry, senior policy and science advisor for Health Canada.

“Drink plenty of water, even before you feel thirsty, slow down on vigorous activities including exercise.”

Adding, to “never leave children or pets in a parked car, not even for a minute.”

According to Health Canada, and the Canadian Red Cross, heat stroke is a medical emergency.

“Heat-related emergencies occur when the body becomes dehydrated, which may result in an increased body temperature, says the Red Cross webpage.  “Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, can happen to anyone who stays in the summer heat and sun for too long.”

Symptoms include to heatstroke include, hot and dry skin, severe headache, coma and seizures, altered behavior such as irritable, aggressive or bizarre, and breathing may become rapid and shallow.

According to Berry, ways to help someone suffering from heat stroke is to immediately call 911, remove the person from heat, loosen tight clothing, do not dry the skin and in more severe instances to immerse the person in cool water, pour water onto torso and fan the skin.

According to the Health Canada’s webpage on climate change and health, “Heat events frequently cause death. Heat tragedies have killed more than 619 people in B.C. in 2021, 280 people in Quebec in 2010, 156 people in B.C. in 2009, 70,00 people in Europe in 2003 and 700 people in Chicago in 1995.”

Into its third day, Smith said it is predicted to last at least until Friday but potentially for seven days.

Health Canada has come up with some tips to help including, stay up to date— watch your local weather forecasts, do regular check-ins with family members, especially with infants or elderly family members, stay hydrated, drink plenty of cool liquids, water is the best, and as many fruits and vegetables as possible as they have a high water content, and stay cool, spend time in air conditioned places if possible, do less strenuous exercise, and stay indoors as much as possible.

“The best suggestion if you are in a community that has lack of access to clean water and or healthcare to check in with your band office and community centres. They will often offer space and or suggestions for affected community members,” said Berry.

Contribute Button