Hot, humid weather to continue through the week

Extreme heat warnings have been issued across southwestern Ontario

Extreme heat warnings have been issued across southwestern Ontario

Inland communities are hit harder than those along the coast.

At least eight people in the USA and Canada have died in the past week due to the intense heat wave affecting parts of North America.

"Our people are starting to be exhausted on the road ...", Benoit Garneau of the Urgences-santé ambulance service said. Firefighters are knocking on doors in neighbourhoods with less greenery where temperatures can rise up to five degrees higher than the forecast high.

A cool down is expected by Friday with the passage of a cold front.

In Montreal alone, six heat-related deaths occurred over the weekend, most of whom impacting people living alone, according to CNN.

In response to the extended heat warning, the city has opened a number of cooling centres around Toronto.

The heat warning extends throughout the GTA and most of southern Ontario, including Hamilton, Waterloo and Barrie. The previous record was 35.

The new system is a partnership between Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. The highest July 1 temperature recorded in Ottawa between 1939 and 2011 was 36.9 C in 1963.

Outside Quebec, sweltering heat was felt in four other provinces. "It's not as normal that we see this length of a heat wave". He says the last extended heat wave that baked the area was about seven years ago. Witnesses say the small pool was at capacity at the time, and there was one lifeguard on duty. Before that, it was 2001.

Humidex values are expected to make those temperatures feel like the low 40s.

But relief is coming, however slowly. Daytime highs again will be in the low 30s with humidex near 40.

University of Waterloo climate scientist Blair Feltmate says the heat wave can't be directly attributed to climate change, but that suggesting the two aren't linked would be like arguing that no particular home run can be attributed to steroids when a baseball player on a hitting streak is caught doping. The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.

Even those not specifically at risk are encouraged to stay inside or in the shade, and to limit outdoor activity in the heat. Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle.

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