Second heat wave hits Montreal; experts lament climate change will bring more hot weather
MONTREAL -- Summer has barely started, but Montreal is in the middle of its second heat wave this month alone.
"We're definitely living in one. It's not that hot temperature-wise, but the humidity is very high," explains Simon Legault, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. "That's what gives us the impression that we're feeling a heat wave."
He adds temperatures aren't dropping much overnight, still hovering over 20 degrees Celsius, and the humidex is what's driving the weather up to scorching.
Legault says experiencing two heat waves in June is "unusual," but could soon be the new normal.
"We might be seeing the effects of climate change that might happen more frequently as the decades go," he explains. "That's something we might see a bit more; earlier heat waves, that kind of phenomenon that will happen with climate change."
Despite the fevered start to the summer, Legault says there's no reason to assume that the next few months will be even hotter.
"We expect those months, July more than August, to be above normal, but we cannot say right now how high above normal," he told CTV News. "It would be too risky to forecast more than three weeks in advance."
Legault notes the average temperatures in July tend to stand around 26 to 27 degrees Celsius.
"We don't see cold weather or cold periods coming in those months," he notes. "There might be some breaks in the heat, but we don't expect long periods of temperatures below normal."
Nevertheless, Legault says Environment Canada isn't predicting that temperatures will break any records.
STAYING SAFE IN THE HEAT
Those at greater risk of complications related to the heat are young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.
"Watch for the effects of heat illness: swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and the worsening of some health conditions," Environment Canada warns. "Drink plenty of water even before you feel thirsty and stay in a cool place."
To avoid heatstroke or aggravating any health conditions, the Quebec Ministry of Health suggests the following:
- Drink six to eight glasses of water per day; always follow your physician's instructions regarding the amount of fluid to drink;
- Avoid alcoholic beverages;
- If possible, spend at least two hours a day in an air-conditioned or cool place;
- Take at least one cool shower or bath per day, or cool your skin several times a day with wet towels;
- Limit physical activity;
- Wear light clothes.
In addition, the ministry is reminding people to never leave a child or baby alone in a vehicle or a poorly ventilated room, even if for just a few minutes.
As always, check on your loved ones, especially those who are vulnerable or living alone.
Anyone who has health-related questions can call Info-Santé by dialing 811 and asking for a health care provider.
In case of emergency, call 911.