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GTA beats record for hottest day in July

TORONTO, Ont. – Toronto has not only broken a temperature record for the hottest July 21 since 1955, but also the hottest day ever in July.  Temperatures at Pearson Airport hit 37.9 C.

The previous record for July 21 was 35.6 C and the hottest day in July was 37.6 C hit July 8, 1988.

Cooling centres and swimming pools across the GTA are open.

680News meteorologist Jill Taylor is warning people to be very careful because of the humidex.

“When it hits 46 and over it’s actually very dangerous… Possible heat stroke… Any unnecessary activities outdoor should definitely be stopped. We could be looking at humidex values today of 50,” said Taylor.

She also said that today could be the hottest day ever recorded at Pearson Airport, and may break the record set back in 1948.

Temperatures recorded at the airport are taken in the shade. However, Environment Canada explained that walking along a sidewalk in the sun can make it feel approximately eight degrees hotter.

Environment Canada issued a rare weather warning due to the combination of the heat and humidity, with the hope of driving home the point – that being outside too long is very dangerous.

“We generally transpire, evapourate a litre of water an hour of the human body, and so under these conditions, it’s going to be that,” said the agency’s senior climatologist David Phillips.

“Weather should be the only thing on your mind, and seeking shelter from it in a shaded place, in an air-conditioned place,” he told 680News.

Most day camps across the GTA are keeping children inside, and for the first time in history, horse racing at Woodbine has been cancelled due to the heat. The horses will also stay behind the gates at Mohawk.

All southern Durham soccer leagues have cancelled their house league games for Thursday night due to the extreme heat alert.

The UV index is extremely high, meaning skin can burn in just minutes. EMS reports a 10 per cent increase in calls, with many people having difficulty breathing.

Thestar.com reported that at 3:30 p.m., the hottest spot in Toronto was on Moore Ave., near Mount Plesant Road and St. Clair, at 40 C.

Near Yonge and Bloor, people told 680News they were baking.

“I’m wet, and I’ve only been here for five minutes,” said one man.

“It’s quite disgusting,” said another.

But not everyone agreed.

“I like the heat, I’m a big beach guy myself,” a happy guy told 680News.

Environment Canada said other cities across Canada will also be experiencing extreme heat. The mercury is likely to hit 32C in Fredericton, 33C in Montreal and 34C in Ottawa.

Windsor, Ontario residents should expect it to be a blistering 39C.

The rising temperatures are due to what’s being called a heat dome – a hot, unmoving high-pressure area hovering over central Canada.

The dome is pushing the jet stream well to the north and keeping cooler or wetter weather out. Phillips said it’s like a heat pump and it just sluggishly sits there.

Don’t expect relief any time soon — above average temperatures are expected for the rest of the summer, while this heat spell will stick with us through the weekend.

“We probably won’t notice a decrease in the temperature until perhaps Monday,” Taylor said.

The Blue Jays will play their Thursday afternoon game with a closed roof. Jay Stenhouse, the Vice President of Communications for the Blue Jays said the roof will be closed for the first time ever due to the extreme heat.

Stenhouse also said that Loblaws will be handing out 20,000 bottles of free water to fans.

Go Transit said they will be reducing the speed of their trains in case of heat related buckling or breaking on the tracks.

Meanwhile, Hydro is warning people to be conscious of their energy consumption, due to the high demands.

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