Heat warning issued for Montreal as schools scramble to keep students cool

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Keeping cool at school?
WATCH: With record-breaking temperatures and high humidity, some Montreal-area schools are struggling to keep students cool. Global’s Dan Spector reports – Sep 25, 2017

With temperatures well above seasonal averages, Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the Montreal area as well as Laval, Longueuil-Varennes and Châteauguay-La Prairie.

Environment Canada said temperatures are expected to reach highs of 30 C, with a humidex value between 35 C to 40 C.

“All of southern Quebec in under a heat warning right now,” Alexandre Parent, Environment Canada meteorologist, said.

READ MORE: Montreal heat beats 126-year-old record

And while some might enjoy the heat, several Montreal-area schools are scrambling to keeps students cool.

At Willingdon School in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, vice-principal Steve Spetsieris said several measures have been put in place.

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“We turn the lights off in the classroom, provide them with some extra water breaks and keep them in the shade during recess and lunch.”

Other schools in Montreal have moved classes outdoors.

English Montreal School Board spokesperson Mike Cohen said that while this weather is unprecedented in September, hot weather is nothing new.

“Schools are prepared,” he said.

“They know to keep the kids hydrated, keep them inside if necessary. The measures are there, the protocol is there and the principals are implementing it.”

Despite the extra measures, some Willingdon students Global News spoke to admitted they were struggling.

“It’s hard work to concentrate because the heat is just really uncomfortable while we’re working,” said student Sarah Chew.

“The seats are like plastic right… so it’s really hot and uncomfortable and you’re fidgeting around, so it’s hard to just stand still and work.”

Jacob Bochonko agreed.

“It’s crazy hot. The sun is just reflecting on me and I’m sweating like crazy,” he said. “It’s been tiring with the sun blazing and all, it’s been challenging.”

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READ MORE: Montreal marathon cancelled because of dangerous heat conditions

Parent says the temperature is expected to return to normal on Thursday but until then, you can expect unseasonably warm days.

“Today and tomorrow are basically going to be copy and paste,” Parent said.

“We will have to wait until Wednesday where it’s going to remain fairly hot and humid as well, and only in the afternoon we’re going to see some more cloudiness with a cold front approaching.”

Parent says the warm temperatures and lack of precipitation this late in September is something that hasn’t been seen since 1999.

“If we include tomorrow, that would be 17 straight days with no precipitation in Montreal and warmer than normal temperatures,” Parent told Global News.

“That kind of stretch is really extraordinary.”

READ MORE: West Island runner disappointed after Montreal marathon cancelled due to hot weather

On the roads in Montreal, Urgences-Santé increased the number of paramedics beginning on Sunday and continuing through Tuesday.

Spokesperson Stéphane Smith said about 10 paramedics and five trucks were added to the regular rotation.

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As the warm weather is expected to stick around for the coming days, Parent says remaining in air-conditioned environments and frequent hydration are important to withstand the heat.

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