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Heat and humidity triggers warnings in the Maritimes

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 10:15 AM - People on the East Coast will be celebrating Canada Day while baking in intense heat and humidity.

So intense in fact, that Environment Canada was prompted to issue special weather statements about it in PEI and Nova Scotia, along with full-fledged warnings in New Brunswick.

"It's very warn through the majority of Atlantic Canada today," Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg said Tuesday morning. "Temperatures this afternoon could be feeling up to 40 degrees."

It was certainly hot enough to break records in Atlantic Canada on Monday.

Environment Canada's criteria for a heat warning is when temperature or humidex values are expected to reach the 40 mark for at least one hour, and the agency expects all of New Brunswick to be sweltering with the exception of some coastal areas.

It's unhealthy to be outside for long in those conditions, and Environment Canada says health risks are greatest for:

- older adults

- infants and young children

- people with chronic illnesses such as breathing difficulties, heart conditions or psychiatric illnesses

- people who work in the heat

- people who exercise in the heat

- people without access to air conditioning and

- homeless people.

In Prince Edward Island, the government issued a fire warning for the entire province, with forest fire risk at very high levels. The PEI government says all burning permits have been invalidated and no outdoor burning is allowed until the index falls back to low.

With all that humidity, thunderstorms are possible in parts of the region.

"There's a risk for an isolated thunderstorm this afternoon through Labrador and northern parts of Newfoundland," Sonnenburg says. "Nova Scotia and New Brunswick also have a very slight risk for a rumble of thunder this afternoon with all the humidity and daytime heating today."

There are severe thunderstorm watches in place in parts of Labrador.


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