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Heatwave brings scorching sun, boiling temperatures to northeastern Ontario

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It was a scorching hot day Monday. As the sun's searing rays were beating down, everyone at the Lake Nipissing waterfront was looking to snatch up prime real estate: the little shade that was available.

The heat wave started early in the morning in most of the region as elevated heat and humidity are expected for the next several days.

"I won’t sit out in the sun without sunblock on,” one woman said.

There were not just kids trying to stay cool at the Rotary Splash Pad. The first few of the yearly shad flies were also looking for refuge in the shade.

“We like to get out in the morning when it’s not too hot and then we’ll probably spend the rest of the day in our air-conditioned house,” one mom laughed.

The City of North Bay opened Memorial Gardens and the downtown bus terminal for anyone looking to cool down, while The Gathering Place soup kitchen is making water stations available. Greater Sudbury has also activated its hot weather response plan.

Environment Canada’s heat warning said the humidex is peaking between 36 and 42 degrees C in some areas of the north. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

"There’s nothing better than the hot summer that’s for sure. We’ve got lots of water. We don’t want to get sunstroke,” said another mother at the splash pad.

Environment Canada’s heat warning said the humidex is peaking between 36 and 42 degrees C in some areas of the north.

There will be little relief overnight, as lows are expected to be 17-20 C with humidex values of 25 to 30, with temperatures not cooling anytime soon.

“We have an air mass coming from the south and that’s why it’s importing some very hot and humid weather,” said meteorologist Gerald Cheng.

“It is going to be an above-normal summer and there’s still the whole (summer) ahead of us.”

Environment Canada’s heat warning said the humidex is peaking between 36 and 42 degrees C in some areas of the north. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

Environment Canada’s heat warning said the humidex is peaking between 36 and 42 degrees C in some areas of the north. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is encouraging people to dress in light, loose clothes, wear a hat and sunglasses, apply water-resistant sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF or higher and, of course, find ways to stay cool.

"Keep in consideration that if you’re out in the sun too long there’s the potential of heat stroke or just feeling faint or fatigued,” said Melissa Watson, the health unit’s public health inspector.

“So make sure you’re staying hydrated.”

After a long winter, there are not many complaints about the heat.

“I’m just enjoying sitting at the waterfront and I enjoy the breeze,” said one woman relaxing by the waves.

Public health officials said continuous exposure to high levels of heat can lead to heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash, heat cramps (muscle cramps), and even death.

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People most at risk include older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, people who are homeless, people who use alcohol or illicit drugs, and those who work or exercise in the heat.

Those who take medications or have a health condition should consult their doctor or pharmacist to determine if they are at increased risk from the heat and follow their recommendations.

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