Is this a Montreal heat wave . . . or not?

TORONTO – Whether or not you call it a heat wave, it’s hot.

Quebec is still sweltering after several days of temperatures that have soared above 30°C and humidex values in the 40s.

Already, by noon on Wednesday, the city had reached a humidex value of 43°C.

But is this a formal heat wave?

Though there’s often confusion about how Environment Canada defines a heat wave, the truth is, they don’t have any set rules.

“The heat wave definition has never been a formal definition from Environment Canada,” said Peter Kimbell, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment Canada.

However, he added, the definition of heat wave isn’t necessarily accurate for the effects it has.

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“It’s a bit misleading,” he said.

“It only takes into account the temperature, not the humidex. It misses the point on the effect it has on humans.”

Humidex advisories are issued by Environment Canada if the temperatures is expected to be 30°C with a humidex value of 40°C or above.

During extreme heat events like the one we’re experiencing, it’s advised that people try to remain indoors and in air conditioned places like community centres or shopping malls.

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