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Eastern Canada breaks autumn heat records

A woman buys ice cream during an unusual autumn heatwave in Montreal
A woman buys ice cream during an unusual autumn heatwave in Montreal.

Eastern Canada shattered heat records this week with temperatures close to 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), worrying experts and everyday people struggling to cope with extreme weather made worse by climate change.

"It's unheard of for a day in October," said Environment Canada meteorologist Jean-Philippe Begin. "It's normal to have occasional warm spells, but extreme heat like this is very unusual."

The last three days heat records were broken in Quebec and adjacent provinces. On Wednesday the mercury reached 29.3 degrees Celsius in Montreal, surpassing the record of 26.7 degrees set in 2005.

At the top of Mount Royal—a mountain in the heart of the city—bright red, orange and yellow autumn foliage was rustled by what felt like a summer breeze.

"It just makes you wonder," commented jogger Marcello Barsalou, carrying a water pack on his back.

Marveling at the panoramic city view, many tourists admitted to relishing this last gasp of summer before temperatures plunge. "We did not expect it," one said.

"It feels strange, especially in Canada," said French tourist Christine Boileau.

Another French tourist, Andre Martin, 78, however, said the fall heat wave has him very worried.

Temperatures are set to return to seasonal norms over the weekend, with snow forecast for some northern parts of Canada, according to Begin.

  • Tourists snap pictures of the city at the Mont-Royal belvedere in Montreal while soaking in unseasonably hot weather
    Tourists snap pictures of the city at the Mont-Royal belvedere in Montreal while soaking in unseasonably hot weather.
  • A woman stands near the Lac-aux-Castors in Montreal, taking in warm autumn weather
    A woman stands near the Lac-aux-Castors in Montreal, taking in warm autumn weather.

But he warned that events, including heat waves, will become more frequent and hit harder with time.

It's the same around the world as temperatures keep breaking records. After a sweltering summer and an unseasonably warm September, this year is expected to be the hottest in human history.

Global average temperatures from January to September were 1.4 degrees Celsius higher than 1850-1900, almost breaching the 1.5C warming goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the Copernicus Climate Change Service said in a report released Thursday.

The January-September average global temperature was 0.05C higher than the same nine-month period in 2016, the warmest year recorded so far.

The El Niño phenomenon—which warms waters in the southern Pacific and stokes hotter weather beyond—is likely to see 2023 become the hottest year on record in the next three months.

Scientists expect the worst effects of the current El Niño to be felt at the end of 2023 and into next year.

© 2023 AFP

Citation: Eastern Canada breaks autumn heat records (2023, October 6) retrieved 1 March 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-10-eastern-canada-autumn.html
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