Storm chance lingers on parts of the East Coast as temperatures soar

Storm chance lingers on parts of the East Coast as temperatures soar

Extreme temperatures have made their way to Atlantic Canada as a heat dome brings dangerous, excessive heat and humidity to the region.

The same period of intense heat that is blanketing Ontario and Quebec has just begun to impact the East Coast, and it has soared high enough to break at least one record.

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On Wednesday, Bathurst, N.B., set a new, all-time temperature record, with the mercury hitting 37.6°C, just barely surpassing its previous high of 37.4°C, documented on June 27, 2003. It is now a provincial June record.

Bathurst, N.B., all-time high temperature_June 19
Bathurst, N.B., all-time high temperature_June 19

Check several times a day on older family, friends and neighbours. Make sure they are cool and drinking water. Never leave people, particularly children, or pets inside a parked vehicle.

Atlantic Canada will see the prolonged stretch of hot and humid weather continue on Thursday, with daytime highs and humidex values similar to its Ontario and Quebec counterparts. Many June, and more some all-time, humidex records on the East Coast will be in peril.

The high heat and humidity will act as primary drivers for isolated thunderstorm chances on Thursday, as well.

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Air sinks beneath a strong ridge, warming up as it descends toward the surface. Hot, muggy winds blowing straight from the Gulf of Mexico will add tropical humidity to the mix.

Record-breaking humidex values are possible across the Maritimes, on Thursday for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

June humidex records Atlantic Canada_June 17
June humidex records Atlantic Canada_June 17

Temperatures are expected to be in the low-to-mid 30s but the humidex values will make it feel closer to the low-to-mid 40s. Very little relief will be felt overnight as temperatures will stay in the low- or mid-20s.

On Wednesday, Bathurst, N.B., set a new, all-time temperature record, with the mercury hitting 37.6°C, just barely surpassing its previous high of 37.4°C, documented on June 27, 2003. It is now a provincial June record.

Besides, Bathurst, N.B., Fredericton (city) tied for its hottest June day ever, reaching 35.6°C on Wednesday.

Temperatures will also be quite high in Newfoundland, with central and northern areas reaching the 30-degree mark and humidex values just hitting 40. St. John’s, N.L., has a forecast of 28°C for Thursday.

Thursday humidex values in Atlantic Canada_June 19
Thursday humidex values in Atlantic Canada_June 19

Some of the warmest June nights on record are being challenged, as well, including several locales in New Brunswick (Bathurst, Fredericton and Woodstock), Nova Scotia (Halifax and Greenwood), P.E.I. (Charlottetown) and Newfoundland (Gander).

The heat and humidity will also fuel daily thunderstorm risks, so people will need to be weather-aware.

The hot and humid conditions will bring the chance of some isolated thunderstorms to the region on Thursday.

Baron - Thursday ATL storm risk - June 19
Baron - Thursday ATL storm risk - June 19

As we continue to move in the direction of a warming world, extreme heat events like these are expected to increase in frequency.

Watch out for heat-related impacts, such as heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. Remember to drink plenty of water. Avoid strenuous work outdoors.

Looking ahead, some relief from the heat dome and the humidity is expected Friday as a cold front brings slightly cooler air.

Heat dome - the chain reaction
Heat dome - the chain reaction

WATCH: How living in a heat dome can impact your body

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Increased potential for heat-related illnesses

Extreme heat is a leading weather-related cause of death around the world, claiming more lives every year than tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Hot temperatures are truly a silent killer.

Folks who are highly susceptible to the heat include those in homes without air conditioning, elderly people, unhoused people, outdoor workers, those living with chronic health conditions, and folks taking certain medications.

Explainer: Confidence in attribution of different extreme heat events
Explainer: Confidence in attribution of different extreme heat events

Check on vulnerable friends, family, and neighbours over this week. Stay alert for the signs of heat-related illnesses.

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Heat exhaustion occurs when a person’s body temperature climbs too high and they struggle to cool off. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, excessive sweating, and weakness. Developing heat exhaustion is a serious sign that your body is in distress and you need to find a way to cool off immediately.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency that occurs when a person’s body temperature is so high that their vital systems begin to shut down.

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Stay tuned to The Weather Network for more updates on the heat wave across Atlantic Canada.