Experts: Quebec summer forecast calls for heat, humidity and severe thunderstorms

Published: 1 June 2022

A hot, "unstable and sticky" summer awaits Quebecers, according to The Weather Network, which predicts periods of abundant heat, often followed by severe thunderstorms. This will be the "fifth consecutive summer where temperatures will be above seasonal normals, which has never happened since we started compiling data" in 1942, according to André Monette, chief meteorologist at The Weather Network. (CTV News)

Here are some experts from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:

Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, PhD candidate, Department of Bioresource Engineering

Heatwaves are one of the deadliest climate and weather-related disasters, with devastating impacts on humans, crops, and infrastructure. As the climate warms, heatwave seasons are becoming longer and more frequent and the risk is increasing. Particularly, high temperatures and humidity can be lethal for a few days every year in metropolitan areas like Montreal, causing a spike in heat-related illnesses and deaths. The future may bring more dangerous impacts due to climate change.”

Mohammad Reza Alizadeh is a PhD candidate in the Department of Bioresource Engineering working under the supervision of Professor Jan Adamowski. His principal research objective is to bridge the gap between hydrology, climatology, remote sensing, and machine learning, towards addressing critical global water and environmental resource issues. His research interests extend to compound climate extremes and natural hazards, drought and flood analysis, human-climate interactions, and hydrological forecasting.

mohammadreza.alizadeh [at] (English)

Jill Baumgartner, Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health and Institute for Health and Social Policy

Unfortunately, these occurrences of extreme heat and weather events in Quebec are likely to continue and even worsen with climate change. It’s important for Montrealers to keep themselves and others safe during storms and heat events. People should head inside when there is a severe storm and especially with lightning. If you get caught in an open area, move quickly to an adequate shelter. To prevent heat-related health issues, people should drink lots of water, try to spend time in cool or air-conditioned places, take cool showers and reduce intensity of physical activity during the hottest times of the day. Those most at risk of experiencing health effects of heat are older people, young children, and people with other chronic and mental health conditions – it’s important to check in on vulnerable residents on hot days to make sure that they are okay and following prevention advice and help them move to a cooler place if needed.”

Jill Baumgartner is an Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar cross-appointed to the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health and the Institute for Health and Social Policy. She also is an Associate Member of the Bieler School of Environment. She studies exposure to environmental pollutants and their impact on human health in the context of urbanization and development.

jill.baumgartner [at] (English)

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