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Newfoundland’s scorching week rolls on, with humidex values creeping toward 40 | CBC News

A green tower with three buckets of water spilling over.
The Bannerman Park splash pad in St. John’s has been busy as kids and parents try to beat the heat. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

It has been a record-breaking week, so far, for parts of Newfoundland and Labrador as the heat of summer settles in with humidex values reaching 40 in some areas. 

Heat warnings remain in effect for most of the island, stretching from Deer Lake on the island’s west coast to St. John’s and the northern Avalon Peninsula on the east coast.

Wednesday is shaping up to be another scorcher, says Environment Canada meteorologist Rob Carroll.

“[It’s] going to be another very hot day. It might even be a smidgen hotter than yesterday for some areas,” Carroll said.

“We’re looking at highs in the upper 20s to low 30s once again with humidex values of upper 30s to low 40s.”

In Gander on Tuesday, the humidex hit 40 in four consecutive hours. According to meteorologist Rodney Barney, it’s just the third time the humidex has reached 40 since the beginning of data collection in 1959. A humidex of 40 was recorded in one hourly reading in July 2014 and two hourly readings in July 1975.

Thursday may offer a little reprieve, with cloud cover and showers expected for central and western Newfoundland. 

Carroll said that may keep temperatures down slightly and end the heat warning for those areas, but eastern Newfoundland can expect at least another day under the warning with temperatures remaining in the upper 20s.

“We do have temperatures mentioned in the upper 20s for many, many days,” he said.

“[We’re] not really seeing the 30s anymore, so we might be able to escape without any more heat warnings but it will still be very warm weather.”

Two children stand on a paddle board in a pond.
Dr. Monika Dutt, medical officer of health for Newfoundland’s central and western zones, says staying close to water can be helpful during hot weather. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

In Labrador, the area of Cartwright to Lodge Bay can expect a heat warning to extend through Thursday and possibly into Friday for the Mary’s Harbour area. Temperatures are expected to reach between 28 C to 32 C with a humidex near 36.

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has also closed over a dozen salmon rivers in the province because of the heat.

Rivers in areas 2, 4 and 5 closed Tuesday evening due to “extremely high water temperatures and/or low water levels,” DFO said in a media release Wednesday. Angling is now only permitted from one hour before sunrise to 10 a.m. on those rivers.

Staying safe

Dr. Monika Dutt, medical officer of health for Newfoundland’s central and western zones, says it’s important to be prepared the heat.

“You definitely have to pay attention to your own health signals,” Dutt said Wednesday.

“If you start to feel really thirsty, if you get a headache, if you start to feel unwell, if you’re not urinating as much, these are all signs that you really should seek protection and drink more fluids and take care of yourself.”

Heat-related illnesses can range from quite mild to quite severe, said Dutt, including a heat rash or a sun burn on the lower scale to heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke on the higher end, which are real medical emergencies.

“Shade is an essential part in how we can deal with these heat related situations. Having more green spaces and more shade is absolutely part of how we can deal with the heat,” Dutt said. 

“Trying to stay by water can be helpful.… Trying to find shade, drinking your fluids, having your sun protection, all of those pieces are still important. And if you can still be active in parts of the day outdoors that are less warm, that would also be helpful.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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