Saturday, June 29th 2019, 12:44 pm - The first official long weekend of the summer is here and we want to give you everything to plan for it.
The Canada Day long weekend is here and so is the last installment of our NEW special segment, Beyond The Forecast.
In the days leading up to this much anticipated first long weekend of the summer, we've taken you beyond just the weather forecast with information on water temperatures (both lake and pool), where and why mosquitoes might be particularly pesky, a deadly comparison between last year's long weekend temperatures and so much MORE. Get caught up, below.
This is the most detailed we've ever gotten for a long weekend outlook as we feel now more than ever, Ontario deserves this holiday weekend to enjoy. Especially after such a damp and dreary spring that dragged spirits way down.
We're finally here, Ontario, the official kickoff to summer vacation has started, and we're hoping this new feature has helped you to get long weekend ready all week. Have a safe and happy Canada Day!
FRIDAY, JUNE 28: FIREWORKS MAY BE INTERRUPTED WITH RAIN, PLAN AHEAD
The long weekend forecast has been tricky to nail down, especially in terms of the timing for some unsettled weather. While most of Saturday and Sunday look to stay rain-free across the Golden Horseshoe, conditions take a bit of a turn as we head into Canada Day on Monday.
"Unfortunately, the timing for our next system continues to be faster with an increasing threat for showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening across southern Ontario," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "There's the potential for this to impact fireworks for the region, including in the city of Ottawa."
There is still some time for this forecast to change, so be sure to check back as we monitor your Canada Day weather.
THURSDAY, JUNE 27: DEADLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAST YEAR'S LONG WEEKEND TEMPERATURES
The arrival of summer weather has truly taken its time across much of eastern Canada this year with some areas still waiting to hit the first 30°C day of the year. The first real blast of heat and humidity spread across southern Ontario this week, but with no real extended heat waves or signs of prolonged above-average warmth so far.
While remaining warm, a cold front sinking south through Saturday will help to knock temperatures back to more comfortable values to round out this long weekend.
When we look back to this same time period last year, the region was already desperate for a break from the excessively hot conditions. The city of Toronto had already recorded seven consecutive days of 30+°C temperatures over the span of the Canada Day long weekend, while Ottawa recorded a humidex of 47 on Canada Day 2018. According to Ottawa Paramedic Services, more than 50 reports of heat-related illnesses were taken on July 1.
By July 5, health authorities in Quebec had confirmed at least 18 heat related deaths with the majority reported in the Montreal area.
It was an extremely dangerous heat wave that gripped much of eastern North America through early July.
It's important to always remember the health risks involved when humidex values reach the mid 30s. When extreme heat hits, you're advised to:
- drink plenty of cool liquids before feeling thirsty
- keep cool by dressing for the weather
- spend a few hours each day in a cool place
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26: UNSETTLED START TO THE WEEKEND, COOLING TEMPS A GREAT SIGN FOR MOSQUITO RELIEF
As we start to finally see conditions much more reminiscent of summer across Ontario, with the rising heat and humidity comes the threat for some instability and thunderstorms.
STAY ITCH-FREE: Become an ultimate bug repeller this summer
We're watching for some localized heavy downpours that could start the long weekend on Friday as a cold front slowly sinks south through the region, acting as the perfect trigger for storms to fire off. That risk extends into parts of Saturday as well, although we don't expect the day to be a total washout.
"Still, if you have any outdoor plans for Saturday, we recommend that you have a back-up plan," says Gillham.
Behind that cold front, however, expect a return to sunshine with much more comfortable temperatures and lower humidity to end the first long weekend of summer. That's not only good news to give your air conditioning units a rest, but also for those pesky mosquitoes that thrive in extremely hot conditions.
"Mosquitoes definitely like warmer temperatures and their breeding cycle may be faster as well as the viral replication cycle as they may be biting more often," says Dr. Navarro, associate medical officer of Toronto Public Health.
According to Dr. Navarro, hotter summers have typically resulted in a greater number of infections for mosquito related viruses. Last year alone, there were 367 cases of the West Nile Virus in Canada, with 126 of those cases reported in Ontario.
WATCH BELOW: MOSQUITOES LIKE IT HOT
The relationship with rain is a little less clear in terms of mosquitoes as small bouts of showers can create ideal breeding sites, while too much rain can actually flush out those breeding grounds.
That means our well above average rainfall this past spring may have actually helped to reduce those sites.
"The other factor is, what was the winter like?," Dr. Navarro adds. "If the winter has been long and cold (check!), then the mosquitoes may die off during that time."
So maybe our long and drawn out winter and spring wasn't so bad afterall? Especially if it leads to a relatively scratch-free environment for this long awaited summer season.
TUESDAY, JUNE 25: LAKE VS. POOL? STORM HUNTERS DO THE "SWIMWORTHY" TEST FOR YOU
In a spring that offered mostly grey skies and below seasonal temperatures, it should come as no surprise that the Great Lake temperatures aren't at their best for a long weekend dip. In a recent Weather Network poll that asked what would be the ideal water temperature for a lake swim, nearly 50 percent said between 20-25°C.
Warning: None of the Great Lakes are currently sitting above 20°C. In fact, the water temperature in Lake Ontario is actually more reminiscent of late October.
Even with a ridge of high pressure moving in for the long weekend, it takes a lot longer to heat and cool water.
Just watch as Storm Hunter Mark Robinson takes a chilly lake plunge below, making it only up to his knees in the water (while wearing a turtleneck!) and leaving him super envious of those with pool access.