Hot and unsettled weather on the way for Waterloo region, Guelph and Wellington County

Expect hot and unsettled weather for the rest of the work week in Waterloo region, Guelph and Wellington County.

A heat warning has been issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada as hot and humid conditions are expected to start Wednesday in much of southern Ontario.

The forecast is calling for:

  • Wednesday’s temperature to reach 30 C with a humidex value of 37 and a chance of showers and thunderstorms.
  • Thursday’s temperature to be 30 C with the humidex in the upper 30s. There’s a 40 per cent chance of showers.
  • Friday “to be extremely hot with humidex values reaching 40 for many areas,” the weather agency said. There’s also a 40 per cent chance of showers.

Nighttime won’t bring much relief from the heat with minimum temperatures expected in the low 20s, the heat warning said.

Gerald Cheng is a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada and says the weather this week will throw “every type of summer weather” at the region.

It’s “a very typical summer day when we have to deal with heat and humidity, and with that comes thunderstorms,” he told CBC News.

Cheng said there’s a southwesterly flow that’s setting up over southwestern Ontario that is bringing the hot temperatures and humidity. He said people should be prepared for thunderstorms. 

“Thunderstorms, they can develop quite quickly and conditions can change in an instant,” he said, noting people going out for a walk or hike should definitely keep an eye on the skies in the coming days.

“It’s really important to be aware of our surroundings because conditions can change so quickly, especially when we want to enjoy the great outdoors nowadays,” Cheng said.

“Thunderstorms are very different from snowstorms or huge systems where we get the same types of weather, whether we are traveling to Guelph or whether we go southwest to London,” he said.

But he noted thunderstorms can be very isolated, “so it may rain lots in our neighbourhood and then the next one over has nothing.”

The hot weather is expected to subside on the weekend, with a high of 24 C predicted for Saturday with a chance of showers.

Cooling centres

The Region of Waterloo has designated cooling centres at its offices at 150 Main St. in Cambridge, 150 Frederick St. in Kitchener, which are both open seven days a week, and 99 Regina St. S. in Waterloo, which is open during regular business hours Monday to Friday.

Other places to cool off include local libraries and some community centres. More information can be found on the region’s website.

Take precautions

Region of Waterloo Public Health notes extreme heat can impact anyone, but particularly at risk are:

  • Older adults.
  • Infants and young children.
  • Outdoor workers.
  • People planning outdoor sports or activities.
  • People with chronic illness.
  • People who live alone.
  • People experiencing homelessness.

Public health reminds people to never leave anyone or pets inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

People exposed to extreme heat may suffer from:

  • Dizziness or fainting.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Headache.
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Decreased urination.

Public health says ways people can protect themselves from the heat and humidity include:

  • Plan ahead and modify plans according to the weather.
  • Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
  • Seek shade and avoid the sun.
  • Take a break from the heat and spend a few hours in a cool place.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Black the sun by closing curtains or blinds during the day.
  • Prepare meals that don’t require the stove.

“Frequently connect with vulnerable neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are chronically ill, to make sure they are cool and hydrated,” public health’s website says.

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