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Late summer heatwave hits Ottawa for the long weekend

A heat warning is in effect for Ottawa as temperatures soar to midsummer highs over the next several days.

Environment Canada's forecast for the capital includes highs above 30 C this week, after a cooler than average August that saw no days above 29 C for the first time in more than a decade.

"A hot airmass is expected to affect the area beginning today and persisting through at least mid-week," the warning states. "Daytime highs today will be near 29 to 32 degrees Celsius. As the week progresses, daytime highs are expected to increase to near 31 to 35 degrees Celsius. The hottest days looks to be on Tuesday and Wednesday. Overnight lows for some areas will fall to just below alert criteria mainly in rural areas. Humidex values and daytime highs will be very atypical of early September."

Sunday's forecast is sunny with a high of 30 C and a humidex of 37. Labour Day Monday could see a high of 32 C and a humidex of 39.

The temperature could hit a high of 33 C on Tuesday, when tens of thousands of Ottawa students head back to school. Wednesday's high is also 33 C. 

The warning also comes as city beaches are no longer supervised by lifeguards.

Overnight lows could be between 18 and 22 C over the next several days.

"The passage of a cold front will bring an end to the heat later this week but the timing of the front is still uncertain," Environment Canada says. Thursday's forecast high is 30, with highs in the mid to low 20s on Friday and Saturday, according to the long-term forecast.

People get out and enjoy the weather

For the last long weekend of summer, Ian Ford and his family are making the most of it with a trip to the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

"This is the last hurrah before the end of the summer, before fall sets in," said Ford. "We figure we'd let (our child) come here and enjoy the rides before school starts."

Thousands of festivalgoers made their way to La Baie Park for a rare look inside the larger than life hot air balloon. Saturday’s winds kept the balloons from taking flight. Organizers hope Sunday will fare better.

People take a look inside a hot air balloon at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. Sept. 3, 2023. (Jackie Perez/CTV News Ottawa)

Back in Ottawa, Tuan Vo has other plans for this sunny day.

"Barbecuing! We've got lots of snacks and sweets and lots of water,” he said.

Vo’s group set up their tents and grill at Mooney’s Bay Beach just steps away from the water, a much needed option especially on a hot day like today.

"It's cool and refreshing in the heat though, I like it," said Jessica Cunningham fresh from a dip in the water.

The September heat comes as city beaches are no longer supervised by lifeguards.

"We just pay attention to our daughter and each other making sure we don't do anything foolish," said Cunningham’s father, Graeme.

Ottawa Public Health is reminding everyone to drink plenty of water, cool off in the shade or an air conditioned space and avoid heavy outdoor activities. Top Stories


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