Record breaking heatwave continues for Quebec

The first day of summer in Montreal was a hot one. Trudeau Airport reached a record-breaking 33.4C (92F) as the heatwave stretched into a 4th day. No relief is in sight until Wednesday at the earliest.

Heat warning in effect for Montreal

9AM Update, Monday, June 22: The temperature is already 27C (81F) at 9am in Montreal on this hot Monday, well on our way to a record-breaking high of 34C (94F). The previous record for the day was 32.2C (90F) set in 1957. The heatwave will persist into a sixth and even seventh day before thunderstorms provide some relief. Slightly cooler weather will arrive by Thursday, with a chance for showers. We need the rain. Remember in most municipalities watering and outdoor burning are prohibited at the moment. Check with your municipal authorities.  

Previous Post: Some of the warmest temperatures in North America are occurring right here across southern and eastern Quebec and Ontario into New Brunswick. Over three dozen record highs occurred on Friday, followed by more record heat on Saturday. Montreal reached 33.9C (93F) Saturday afternoon, surpassing the previous high of 32.7C set in 2012. It was the fifth 32C (90F) day already this year and the fourth day of our current heatwave. The previous highs in Montreal have fallen just below the records, reaching 33.5C (92F) Thursday, and 32.9C (91F) Friday. That makes this an official heatwave, the first of the summer. Arguably, many locations had a heatwave back in late May, but Montreal fell short by one tenth of a degree!

The hot weather is expected to continue through at least Tuesday as strong high pressure remains anchored over the region. The air mass has become increasingly humid and stale to say the least, and a smog warning has been added to the heat advisory already in effect. Forest fire smoke is adding to the poor air quality. We need a soaking rain to scrub the atmosphere and save our lawns. A watering ban remains in effect in many southern Quebec municipalities, including here on Ile Perrot. Sadly many of my neigbours have lush green lawns and are ignoring the ban.


Any rain that has occurred has been spotty at best. A few scattered showers and thunderstorms developed over the Adirondacks on Friday and Saturday, drifting into extreme southern Quebec. The same is expected today and Monday, with perhaps a cell or two reaching metro Montreal. The real threat for widespread thunderstorms, some strong, will occur by Wednesday afternoon, as a cold front brings some relief from the heat. Until then, expect daytime highs in the low 30s and overnight lows in the low 20s. Humidex values will reach nearly 40C (104F) during the daylight hours.


Spring came to an end on Saturday, with the summer solstice occurring at 5:43PM EDT. The spring season in Montreal and across many parts of North America was bizarre to say the least as winter and summer waged an epic battle. Montreal's spring featured record heat, record cold, severe thunderstorms, windstorms, May snow, widespread drought conditions and early forest fires all wrapped into three months. I can't wait to see what summer 2020 brings.

(1) comment


Actually, some may disagree that spring ended and summer began at the solstice. The meteorological definition of summer is June 1 (or 5 or 10 or in between) to August 31 (or Sept. 4 or 9 or in between), and this definition is also the popular definition in countries like Great Britain. There's yet another definition that accords perfectly with sunlight hours, and that's from May 6 or 7 to August 6 or 7, with the solstice being right in the middle - hence, Mid-Summer Day being yesterday, June 21. That last definition has been used in traditional Celtic and East Asian cultures. My personal favourite definition is the meteorological one that I already mentioned earlier, as that adequately covers the maximal sunlight of June as well as the warmest days of July and August. The bottom line of all of this is that spring didn't end (and summer didn't begin) at the solstice - the line should be drawn somewhat earlier.

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