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Has this Canadian summer really been record-breaking?

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Alex Shahviri
Staff Writer

Thursday, July 18, 2013, 12:40 -

With more and more extreme heat advisories being called into effect this summer, there exists a tendency to exaggerate when comparing to previous years. Hype words such as “record breaking temperatures” or “the hottest summer ever” are thrown around and many have even bucked the recent trend of baking cookies in their own cars. However, has this summer really been as hot as many believe it to be?

Looking purely at average temperatures, many locations across Canada this year have been almost identical to last. A few places to note include Toronto and Quebec. But comparing this year to the last, both cities saw average highs 3°C warmer last June.

According to Dayna Vettese, meteorologist for The Weather Network, by this time last year, Toronto had already experienced temperatures above 30°C a whopping 17 times. The hottest temperature reached that summer was 36.8°C on July 17, 2012. As of Thursday, July 18, Toronto has only hit temperatures over 30°C just nine times.

Despite some places experiencing varying differences in temperature, nearly the entire country has faced weather cooler or very similar to last. However, if this is the case, why have there been so many complaints about the heat?

One possible reason could be the warmer weather that preceded the arrival of summer. Many Canadians did not experience a normal winter by any means last year, and perhaps after acclimatizing to the cold winter this year, many were unprepared for the normal contrasting temperatures seen in 2012.

Another reason for the complaints about the heat could be the relentlessness of these hot temperatures. Toronto is currently in the midst of a heat wave (three or more consecutive days with temperatures 32°C or more).

Vettese had her own thoughts about this summer’s weather.

“Though this summer has been hot, it was certainly hotter last summer,” Vettese says. “One main difference is that the humidity this summer has been a lot worse.”

While the weather in Canada last summer was statistically hotter, these aforementioned factors have not helped make the heat any more bearable this year.

To stay up to date on the latest weather in Canada during this hot summer, click here to check your local forecast.

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