London, Ont., under severe thunderstorm warning as heat poised to break

FILE. Getty Images

Another day, another downpour amid sweltering temperatures for London and Middlesex County.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the region just before 4:30 p.m. Friday. Environment Canada says forecasters are “tracking a line of severe thunderstorms” moving from northwest of the Pinery Provincial Park to Arkona, southwest of Parkhill, Ont.

The national weather agency says the storms are “capable of producing very strong wind gusts, pea to dime size hail and heavy rain.”

The warning came roughly five hours after a severe thunderstorm watch was issued — the third in as many days for the region amid hot humid conditions.

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Meanwhile, heat warnings remain in place for almost all of southern Ontario. The Middlesex-London Health Unit also has an ongoing extended heat warning in place.

July has seen daily temperature highs of at least 30 C for its first nine days and a forecast of 32 C for July 10. Earlier forecasts suggested a high of 33 C on Friday, which would have had it on track to possibly surpass the current high-temperature record for July 10 is 33.2 C set in 1988.

Read more: Stormy weather expected as heat slowly breaks in London, Ont.

July 9’s high temperature was forecast to climb as high as 35 C, which put it in contention to break the previous record — also set in 1988 — of 35.5 C. However, the actual daytime high fell short, peaking at 32.7 C on Thursday.

While the heat continues to rage, the City of London has opened a new cooling centre at the Hamilton Road Seniors’ Centre and Community Centre at 525 Hamilton Rd. The city says the centre is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will provide water in addition to a space to cool off. Pandemic-related physical distancing and other health guidelines will be in place and other amenities within the centre will not be offered, the city says.

The previous cooling centre, at the South London Community Centre, is now closed “to prepare for upcoming summer day camps.”

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Read more: YMCA and City of London partner to provide downtown hygiene facilities

The city is also continuing to partner with local organizations to help provide additional relief for those in need. The organizations include the Salvation Army Centre of Hope, London Cares, the Youth Action Centre, Atlohsa, the Ark, My Sisters’ Place, and the YMCA Centre Branch.

Water fountains are also operational in Victoria, Gibbons, Springbank West and Pump House parks as well as the Springbank House. There are also numerous spray pads, wading pools and local pools available.

The heat should finally subside for the weekend, with Environment Canada forecasting a high of 24 C for London on Saturday, July 11.

Thunderstorms cause significant flooding in Toronto
Thunderstorms cause significant flooding in Toronto