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Ottawa extending hours at 6 outdoor pools as the temperature hits 33 C

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The City of Ottawa is extending the swimming hours at six outdoor pools today and Thursday as the 'heat dome' brought temperatures above 33 C this afternoon.

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Ottawa, saying the "prolonged heat event" will continue through Thursday with "dangerously hot and humid conditions" expected.

"Daytime highs are expected to be 30 to 35 degrees Celsius with humidex values of 40 to 45," the weather agency said.

"There will be little relief through the overnight as lows are expected to be 18 to 23 degrees Celsius with humidex values of 26 to 30."

The temperature hit 32.5 C on Tuesday; the warmest temperature recorded in Ottawa so far this year. 

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the temperature reached 33.2 C with a humidex of 43. The humidex hit a high of 44 just two hours earlier.

The record for hottest June 19 in Ottawa is 34.7 C, set back in 1995.

The extended heat period is a cause for concern for Ottawa's top doctor.

"What we know from other parts of the world when this kind of extended heat wave happens, it's after a couple of days that we tend to see more signs of people getting into distress," medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches told CTV Morning Live.

"So the very first day on Monday, we had two people hospitalized for heat. Yesterday…we have reports in from the paramedics that their call volume for heat-related illness is going up. So we'd like to see that doesn't reach dangerous levels for people."

Ottawa paramedics treated six people for heat-related illnesses during the first two days of the heat wave.

On Monday, two men exercising outside suffered heat strokes and were transported to hospital in stable condition, according to paramedics.

Another man suffered mild heat exhaustion while at work.

On Tuesday, a man and a woman who spent "several hours outside" were found suffering from heat stroke, paramedics said. The two were transported to hospital in stable condition.

An adult male suffered from heat exhaustion after walking outside for a long period of time.

"Heat also affects chronic medical conditions such has heart disease and respiratory problems.  These are more difficult to track," Ottawa Paramedic spokesperson Marc-Antoine Deschamps said.

The forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud today with a 30 per cent chance of early morning showers. Environment Canada says the temperature will hit 31 C at 12 p.m. and 34 C by 4 p.m.

Ottawa's medical officer of health says it's important to drink plenty of water during the hot and humid weather.

"Your body is trying to keep cool by sweating and you lose fluids and you lose salt and dehydration is one thing that can happen," Etches told CTV News Ottawa Tuesday night.

Etches says finding shade or even making it yourself with an umbrella or parasol can help if you can't get somewhere cool.

"If people stay in a hot environment and aren't able to keep cool, you can get to the dangerous level of heat stroke," Etches says. "It does need immediate emergency attention. That's when your body's not able to cool and you might even get confusion, disorientation, and hallucinations."

Ottawa forecast

Partly cloudy tonight with a 30 per cent chance of showers and a risk of a thunderstorm. Low 23 C.

Thursday will be mainly cloudy with a 40 per cent chance of showers. High 30 C, with the humidex making it feel like 39.

Friday will be sunny. High 28 C.

The outlook for Saturday calls for mainly cloudy with a 30 per cent chance of showers. High 25 C.

The normal temperatures for this time of year are a high of 25 C and a low of 14 C.

Extended swimming hours

The City of Ottawa has announced the hours of operation will be extended at the following pools on Wednesday and Thursday, weather permitting:

The City of Ottawa says you can also cool off at Ottawa Public Library branches and at community centres. Visit the city's website for a list of locations and hours of service.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Ted Raymond

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