The City of Toronto is under a heat warning as temperatures are soaring and are expected to stay like that over the weekend and into next week.
Environment Canada issued the warning Wednesday saying a “prolonged period of hot weather is expected.”
In Toronto, it’s expected to feel between 35 and 38 C with the humidex. Temperatures are similar through to Sunday, where with the humidex, it may feel as hot as 42 C outside.
The agency said minimum overnight temperatures will range between 20 to 23 C.
“Hot and humid air can also bring deteriorating air quality and can result in the Air Quality Health Index to approach the high risk category,” the agency said.
“A heat dome is building from the US Midwest through the Great Lakes,” said Global News Chief Meteorologist Anthony Farnell. “Underneath the dome temperatures are soaring into the low and mid 30s.
“The dome will remain in place through next week, so even hotter conditions are expected in the days ahead as the sun, long days and dry ground feed back to increase the temperature.”
Farnell said cold fronts will be “pushed around the dome” so rain is very unlikely for Toronto. He said less than 10 mm has fallen in the last three weeks in the city.
Environment Canada said those at greater health risk in these temperatures are young children, pregnant woman, older adults and people with chronic illness or who may be working outdoors.
City officials said beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday, 15 emergency cooling centres will be opened for the duration of the heat warning. All centres will be opened from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the exception of Metro Hall which will be open 24 hours a day.
“The Emergency Cooling Centres will offer a publicly accessible, air-conditioned place for residents to rest indoors and receive a cool drink,” a press release said Thursday. “Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand.”
The City said health guidelines and control measures will also be in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the centres.
Those who are 70 years or older or those who are required to self-isolate who wish to use a centre are asked to wear a non-medical mask or face covering at all times, avoid public transportations, taxis and other rideshare options, wash their hands and practice safe physical distancing.