The public weather agency says the balmy temperatures are “affecting much of the province” and advises it will be “particularly hot” during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Temperatures are expected to top 30 C in affected areas including Montreal, the Laurentians and Gatineau. The humidity could make it feel as hot as 42, according to Environment Canada.
The Centre de Services Scolaire au Cœur-des-Vallées, a school board in the Outaouais region, closed all of its elementary and high schools due to the conditions Tuesday.
Classes were also cancelled at École Secondaire De Mortagne, a high school in Boucherville located south of Montreal. Multiple reasons — the weather, an ongoing boil water advisory and construction — led to the closure. The Centre de Services Scolaire des Patriotes says it will reassess the situation later in the day.
Meanwhile, Quebec Education Minister Bernard Drainville said the current weather conditions are unusual and that it is up to each school to put the appropriate measures in place.
He reminded parents and to pack a water bottle for their children and recommended frequent breaks to allow students to hydrate.
If other measures are needed, Drainville said he trusts teachers and staff will best know how to help their students cope with the heat.
Many Quebec schools are old and do not have air conditioning, while new schools are being outfitted with mechanic ventilation systems.
“In newly built schools, we will install mechanical ventilation systems, which isn’t air conditioning but are ventilation systems that will provide for a certain level of comfort,” Drainville said.
The province has plans to build 150 new schools in the coming years.
Tips for staying cool
Environment Canada says the heat “may even persist through Thursday and Friday in southernmost parts of Quebec.”
As part of the warning, it advises drinking plenty of water and staying in a cool place to reduce risks of heat exhaustion. People should also do outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.
Montreal’s public health department suggests wearing light clothing, reducing physical activity and taking cold baths or showers at least once a day. Children should never be left alone in a car.
When it’s this hot, authorities also advise checking in on elderly family members and neighbours or who have physical or mental health problems.
If you have any concerns about your or someone else’s health, officials say it’s best to call Info-Santé at 811. For emergencies, call 911.
— With files from Global News’ Franca Mignacca, Annabelle Olivier