Central Canada cools off, West prepares for heat wave
Published Saturday, July 7, 2012 9:46AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 7, 2012 9:27PM EDT
Residents in Ontario and parts of Quebec enjoyed their Saturday with a slight reprieve from an oppressive heat wave that had engulfed much of the region for several days in a row.
And just as the heat broke in Eastern Canada, a hot air mass from the United States was heading towards Western Canada where it will push temperatures there into the high 20s and mid 30s next week.
Some residents of Alberta were already getting a taste of the sticky weather to come, as residents in Edmonton found ways to keep cool in the shade around the St. Albert’s Farmers’ Market on Saturday.
Shoppers at the popular market drank water and relaxed under trees, bracing themselves for next week when the temperature will reach a sweltering 32 C by Monday.
Further south in Calgary, Stampede-goers also struggled with the heat as they patiently waited in long lines for food and rides under the searing sun. The vendors offering cool beverages and ice-cream were especially popular.
But in Ontario and Quebec, temperatures dropped from the mid and high 30s where they had sat all week, giving residents some much-needed relief from the extreme heat and humidity.
The mercury in Toronto hit a high of 28 C on Saturday, with scattered showers throughout the day. Racing fans took advantage of the milder weather and flocked to the Honda Indy race near Exhibition Place.
In Ottawa, volunteers at the annual Bluesfest music festival struggled to man the food stalls and beer tents in 29 C weather. Festival staff encouraged attendees to stay hydrated throughout the day and paramedics were on hand in case any fans required medical attention.
Meanwhile in Sault Ste. Marie, officials instated a temporary freeze on open-air burning in response to the hot weather. The ban means that no residents may start bon fires or backyard fire pits until the ban is lifted.
In Montreal 26 C temperature set the tone for the 36th annual Carifiesta parade. The parade, which celebrates the cultures of the Caribbean, attracted record crowds to Rene-Levesque Blvd.
Late last week, weather warnings and humidex advisories were issued across Ontario and parts of Quebec as a mass of hot air gripped the region. The travelling air mass sent temperatures across North America soaring, obliterating approximately 3,000 heat records.
“Clearly, we’ve had almost too much summer here in eastern Canada and we’re really only into the beginning days of it,” Dave Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist, said Friday as scorching temperatures stretched across eastern parts of the country.
Friday’s humidex values in Montreal reportedly stretched into the 40s, while a high of 34.5 C hit Ottawa.
On Friday, Toronto broke a July 6 record when the temperature soared to 35 C at Pearson International Airport at 3 p.m. Previously, the record was 34.7 C in 1988.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula area, where a band of heavy thunderstorms were expected to shower the region with about 50 millimetres of rain. Those warning have since been called off.
Further south, a heat wave gripping much of the United States continues to bear down on the country. Forecasters in northeastern cities including Philadelphia and New York anticipate temperatures of 37 C or higher this weekend.
The heat has been blamed for at least 36 deaths in the United States, including three unrelated seniors who were found dead in their houses.
With a report from CTV National News’ John Vennavally-Rao