Southern Quebec | The earliest heat wave ever recorded in Quebec

Southern Quebec is going through its earliest heatwave on record, according to Environment Canada, and many heat records have been broken in recent days. In addition, the province is experiencing many more forest fires than usual this spring.

Updated May 14

Frederik-Xavier Duhamel

Frederik-Xavier Duhamel
The Press

Environment Canada has no formal criteria for declaring a heat wave, recalls Frédérick Boulay, meteorologist at the federal agency. By convention, however, we speak of a heat wave period when the mercury reaches the 30 ° C mark three days in a row, which materialized on Saturday.

“It’s the earliest heat wave ever recorded,” said Mr. Boulay. “Observations have been collected since the end of the 19th century.and century. The earliest before this occurred in 1911, around May 20. »

“We are going to see more and more heat waves” with climate change, notes the meteorologist. ” It’s a certainty. »

In Montreal, Environment Canada instruments already indicated 29.4°C between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, while the air should continue to warm up during the afternoon. On Thursday and Friday, the temperature exceeded 30°C and many regions broke heat records.

  • Saturday was an ideal day for paddleboarding… as demonstrated by this woman, who practices not far from the Champlain Bridge.

    PHOTO CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    Saturday was an ideal day for paddleboarding… as demonstrated by this woman, who practices not far from the Champlain Bridge.

  • Yves Arcand cools off at the Kondioronk belvedere after climbing Mount Royal by bike.

    PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

    Yves Arcand cools off at the Kondioronk belvedere after climbing Mount Royal by bike.

  • Rental boats were very popular on Saturday at the Lachine Canal.

    PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

    Rental boats were very popular on Saturday at the Lachine Canal.

  • A cyclist who has just completed his ascent of Mount Royal stops at the Kondiaronk lookout.

    PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

    A cyclist who has just completed his ascent of Mount Royal stops at the Kondiaronk lookout.

  • Myria is having fun watering her little brother Abderrahamane under the amused eye of their sister Iline, in the Parc des Faubourgs.

    PHOTO CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    Myria is having fun watering her little brother Abderrahamane under the amused eye of their sister Iline, in the Parc des Faubourgs.

  • The members of a running club did not hesitate to face the hot bitumen of the track along the Lachine Canal on Saturday morning.

    PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

    The members of a running club did not hesitate to face the hot bitumen of the track along the Lachine Canal on Saturday morning.

  • A little girl is having fun in the water games at Le Ber park, in the Pointe-Saint-Charles district.

    PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

    A little girl is having fun in the water games at Le Ber park, in the Pointe-Saint-Charles district.

  • Parc des Faubourgs, in Montreal

    PHOTO CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    Parc des Faubourgs, in Montreal

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“We broke records from Val-d’Or to Saguenay, then down all over the south,” says Mr. Boulay.

In Montreal, heat records were broken from Thursday to Saturday. “The 12th was a daily record, we observed 30.3°C. The old record was 28.9°C in 1893 […]. [Vendredi], we reached 31.2°C with an old record of 28.5°C in 1992”, explains the meteorologist. On Saturday, the old record of 29.2 ° C, recorded in 2004, was also beaten.

Many more forest fires

The Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire (SOPFEU) indicates on its website that already 220 forest fires had broken out in Quebec this year as of May 14, or a hundred more than the average of the last 10 years on the same period. The blazes affected more than 222 hectares, more than double the average for the last 10 years at the same date.

“We had a stationary anticyclone over the province, which brought us good weather for about two weeks. There was therefore little or no precipitation in southern Quebec,” observes Mr. Boulay, which “increases the risk of forest fires.”

The Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, in collaboration with SOPFEU, banned open fires in or near forests earlier this month in many regions of Quebec, ranging from Montérégie to Bas-Saint- Lawrence.

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