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article imageRising temps make it challenging to beat the summer heat Special

By Alexandra Christopoulos     Jul 30, 2012 in Environment
Toronto - Soaring temperatures have prompted a string of heat alerts across the city, as well as many other parts of the province, this year. On some days, it has even been warm enough to fry an egg outside, weather experts say.
That day was July 18, which has been rumoured to be the hottest this month, when temperatures reached 37 degrees Celsius, plus humidity.
So far, three heat alerts were issued in July alone by Environment Canada.
Sky rocketing temperatures and very little rain have made conditions increasingly uncomfortable and started wildfires in some regions.
But relief is not far away, as a cooler air mass is expected to move in, says meteorologist Dayna Vettese.
As part of The Weather Networks climatology team, Vettese says although this month has been well above seasonal, patterns really do vary.
" It does depend on the type of air mass we have," she says, which changes with the season. "Normal temperatures for July are about 27 degrees, but this year we have been sitting at 30 and above, plus it has been dry."
But later, she adds a lot of daytime heating is usually lost, as summer draws to a close.
In the meantime, Vettese commented, "this is just how our summer's work," and it would take years of studying climate patterns to determine whether the unusually warm weather is due to global warming.
During heat alerts, public health officials ask individuals to avoid the sun, if possible, and to check on those who may be at risk for heat related illness. Those at risk include the elderly, infants and young children and those with pre-existing illness or breathing problems.
Other tips for cooling down include drinking lots of water, even when you're not thirsty and wearing a broad rimmed hat, if you're heading outdoors. Showering with cooler water and keeping a fan nearby if your home is not equipped with air conditioning are also included in the list. But it is important to draw the shades or blinds close, to keep out the sun. Cooking meals that don't require the use of an oven is also recommended.
Toronto Public Health has a more detailed list on their web site, as well as warming signs of heat stroke.
More about Summer, days of summer, Heat waves, humidity, Climatology
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