An early heat wave will hit Quebec this week

After milder temperatures in Quebec this week, a heat wave will prevail over a large part of the province, lasting several days. Experts are concerned about the repercussions on health and ecosystems of these heatwaves, especially those that occur early in the year.

Environment Canada announces that a warm air mass will affect the province from Tuesday until Thursday. The mercury could reach between 30 and 35°C during the day, while the combined temperature and humidity values ​​will produce a humidex index of over 40.

On Tuesday, a heat record could be recorded in Montreal since statistics on this subject were compiled. In fact, the expected daytime temperature is 35°C, compared to the record of 33.9°C set in 1994.

You can consult our Climate Dashboard (New window), in which we display weather information for 478 locations across the country. Climate Dashboard data comes from the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) and is continuously updated with real-time data.

The nights will not necessarily be cooler since the temperature will remain above 20°C. Temperature and humidity will begin to decrease next weekend.

According to Philippe Gachon, professor of hydroclimatology at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), the heat wave expected this week will be marked by a high pressure system, that is to say a system with very few clouds. , lots of sunlight and a high humidex index, a factor that affects body temperature.

The higher the humidity, the more difficult it is to sweat. This perspiration reduces the temperature of the skin and allows us to thermoregulate.

A quote from Philippe Gachon, professor of hydroclimatology at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM)

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Sweating helps the human body regulate its internal temperature. (Archive photo)

Photo: getty images/istockphoto / Erich Karnberger

Early opening of swimming pools

Faced with this imminent heat wave, several municipalities in the province have decided to open their swimming pools earlier to offer a little coolness to the population.

This is the case, among others, of Longueuil, the Montreal borough of Plateau-Mont-Royal, Laval and the City of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, which have announced the opening of certain swimming pools and water games from the start of the week.

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Several cities in Quebec have announced the early opening of swimming pools and water games.

Photo: Getty Images / Dobrila Vignjevic

The authorities warn the population against heatstroke. Remain vigilant and watch for the following symptoms: exhaustion, dehydration, headache, dizziness, confusion, vomiting and/or fainting.

The Quebec government suggests in particular that people plan physical activities during the cooler periods of the day and apply damp cloths to the face, arms and neck several times a day.

Early heatwave

Professor Philippe Gachon believes that early heatwaves have greater repercussions in terms of mortality and invites vulnerable populations to be vigilant during this heat wave.

Hot temperatures that appear earlier in the year are more likely to affect us because our bodies are not necessarily used to extreme heat, which we normally see later in the seasonhe explains.

Our body gradually gets used to [à la chaleur]. It’s like the cold. We get used to high temperatures, and when they appear very early, our body is not yet used to very high temperatures.

A quote from Philippe Gachon, professor of hydroclimatology at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM)

Mr. Gachon recalls that people who suffer from cardiovascular problems and young children could be particularly affected during this heat wave since temperatures will remain above 20°C at night, which prevents the body from recovering from the effects of the heat.

In addition to becoming more recurrent and longer, heatwaves will be expected to occur earlier in the year, which could contribute to more frequent droughts and wildfires.

With information from Élyse Allard

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