Oppressive heat hits southern Quebec

Southern Quebec experienced sizzling temperatures Thursday as hot weather swept across parts of Central Canada.

Officials warn people to take precautions and take care of those most vulnerable

A family keeps cool in Parc Lafontaine on Thursday. Temperatures surpassed 35 C, beating the previous record for July 21. (CBC)

Southern Quebec experienced sizzling temperatures Thursday as hot weather swept across parts of Central Canada.

Quebec daily temperature highs:

  • In Beauceville, the temperature touched 29.3 C, up from 28.4 C in 2001

  • The temperature hit 33.3 C in Frelighsburg, compared to a previous high of 30.2 C set in 1998


  • L'Acadie hit 35.2 C, compared to 30.9 C in 1994

  • L'Assomption hit 35 C, up from 34.4 C in 1955

  • The temperature hit 33.8 C at the Maniwaki Airport, up from 32.4 C in 1998

  • Montreal Trudeau International airport hit 35.6 C, up from 35 from 1955

  • In Nicolet, the temperature hit 31 C, up from 29 C in 2005

  • Saint-Anicet hit a high of 35 C, compared to 33.1 C in 1994

  • Saint-Jovite was feeling the heat with a high of 32.3 C, up from 30.5 C in 2005

  • Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue hit 34.7 C, higher than the 1994 high of 32.6

  • Trois-Riveres hit 32.4 C, compared to 28.8 C in 1994

  • Varennes peaked at 35.4 C, higher than the 2005 record of 30.1 C

The temperature surpassed 35 C in Montreal Thursday afternoon, breaking the record for July 21. Similar temperatures hit Ottawa, while the dial passed 37 C in Toronto, where with the humidex it felt closer to 50 C.

A hot, unmoving high-pressure area is creating a heat dome effect over central parts of Canada, pushing the jet stream well to the north and keeping cooler or wetter weather away.

The weather office, which issued high heat and humidity warnings for southern Quebec, warned people to stay properly hydrated and stay out of the sun during the oppressive humidity.

In Montreal, public health officials were reminding people that many are at a serious risk because of the heat.

In May, the public health agency published a report stating that in 2010, 106 deaths in the city were likely caused by heat waves.

Agency officials said the elderly are the most vulnerable, but this year they're also reaching out to those suffering from mental health issues.

During a heat wave, experts say the first symptoms of heat stroke are headaches, drowsiness and confusion. They recommend that people drink water regularly regardless of thirst.

People were also urged to avoid physical exertion, especially outdoors during the hottest parts of the day and to find cool areas to rest.

Health officials also suggested people try to:

  • Find cool areas to rest
  • Wear light-coloured clothing
  • Avoid dehydrating liquids such as coffee and alcohol
  • Take showers or cool baths

Montreal's heat record was set back in August 1975, when the temperature hit 37.6 C.

Posties out early

Montrealers find some shade in Parc Lafontaine on Thursday. ((CBC))

Canada Post mail carriers in heat-dome regions were allowed to start their routes in the early-morning hours Thursday, so they're not out during the hottest part of the day.

Spokesman John Caines said Canada Post is also offering mail carriers sunscreen, hats and water.

"They're professionals as well, so they know how to conduct themselves in this kind of weather, but if they can get out early and get the mail before it gets too, too hot and get it all delivered, then it's better for everybody," said Caines.

With files from the Canadian Press