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UV index could reach extreme this weekend: meteorologist

Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, protect your eyes, and stay hydrated.

That’s the advice from Environment Canada meteorologist, Armel Castellan, as we head into what could be one of the hottest weekends on record.

The high for Saturday and Sunday is expected to be around 35°C.

Castellan says that, combined with the time of the year, makes for a potentially dangerous situation, especially when it comes to burning your skin.

“We’re just after the solstice just a few days ago, and so the sun angle is at its highest,” he said. “We have our UV index on our forecast at nine or in the very high category. It could even hit 11 which is essentially extreme.”

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He says staying out of the midday sun, especially between 11:00am and 3:00pm, will protect you from heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, which can be potentially fatal.

Castellan points to a 2018 heat wave in Quebec that claimed 65 lives.

“The most infamous example that I know of was in 2003 in France and in western Europe when upwards of 65,000 people died as a result of being relatively unprepared for that length of heat, and extreme heat,” he added.

Experts believe that climate change will significantly impact the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves, resulting in a spike in illnesses and deaths. 

In places like Toronto, Windsor, London and Winnipeg, for example, the number of days with a maximum temperature of 30°C is projected to double by 2021-2040 and more than triple by 2081-2100, likely resulting in further heat-related deaths.

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