Heat wave: It's not over yet for Quebec, high temperatures to last all week

The humid air mass coming from Ontario has anchored itself over Southern Quebec, according to a heat warning issued by Environment Canada, and is expected to last another four days.

Overnight lows "will give little or no respite," says Environment Canada

Authorities are strongly recommending people find ways to cool down in the heat, and to drink between six and eight glasses of water per day. Buckle up: it's expected to last all week. (Navneet Pall/CBC)

The humid air mass coming from Ontario has anchored itself over Southern Quebec, according to a heat warning issued by Environment Canada, and is expected to last another four days. 

Sunday's temperatures, with humidex, reached more than 45 C in Montreal and Monday's are forecast to go up to 44. 

Temperatures in the high 30s (that's without the humidex) are forecast for the rest of the week. Overnight lows will "give little or no relief," the weather agency's warning said. 

The lack of wind has also given little respite and allowed the heat to linger and cook in urban areas with lots of asphalt. 

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement earlier this week warning of extreme temperatures this weekend. (Radio-Canada)

The heat will be less intense outside of the city, but Quebec regions can still expect highs in the low 30s and a humidex factor of about 40. 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate — oh, and keep cool

The weather agency recommends drinking six to eight glasses of water and to spend at least two hours a day in air conditioned or cool places during this time. It also says to take one or more cool showers a day and to cool your skin with wet towels.

You can find a list of places to cool off in Montreal here.

Environment Canada also says to limit physical activity and wear light clothing. 

"Never leave a child or baby alone in a vehicle or poorly aerated room, even for a few minutes; check on your loved ones, especially those vulnerable or living alone," the warning said.

Environment Canada meteorologist Jean-Philippe Bégin said prolonged heat exposure can have long- and short-term adverse effects on people's health. 

The heat wave, which has been travelling east, peaked on Saturday and Sunday in Southern Ontario. It's expected to spread to the Maritimes, where Environment Canada issued warnings for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Bégin said the humid air mass travelled over from the Gulf of Mexico. "That's why we call it tropical, because it's really feeling like temperatures that we would see in the Tropics."

Record-breaking heat?

According to Bégin, the record for hottest day in July has not been broken — yet. He said the heat to beat for the month is 36.1 degrees, set July 1, 1931.

"If we were to break that record of 36.1 in July, that would be something, really," he said, adding that value is not to be confused with the humidex level. "We don't expect that, but we will be close."

The heat wave began Friday and is expected to last until this Friday, Bégin said.

The last time there was a seven-day long heat wave in Montreal was in 1973. This photo was taken July 4, 1973, when the Olympic torch was being paraded through the city. Temperatures reached 30 C that day (humidex value unknown). (Archives de la Ville de Montréal)

"Such a long sequence hasn't been seen since the summer of 1973, which is 45 years ago," he said. "We are not in unseen territory. It's just very uncommon."

Some restaurants closed and activities cancelled

The City of Montreal warned calèche horse owners that they wouldn't be able to operate in the heat. Regulations put in place last year say the horses are to stay off the streets when the weather reaches 28 C. 

The popular St-Henri restaurant, Satay Brothers, announced on Instagram it would be closing its Atwater Market operation temporarily due to the heat. 

With files from Radio-Canada