When will this heat wave end in Toronto?

Looking for a break from the heat and humidity? Toronto residents can expect the city to cool slightly after rains earlier this week, meteorologists said.

The city was still under a heat warning on Sunday, with temperatures of up to 32C looking more like 41C with the humidity. Environment Canada meteorologists Monica Vaswani and David Phillips both said the city would experience more comfortable summer days after rains earlier this week.

Toronto will likely see the heat spell end with rain and thunderstorms overnight Sunday and possibly Monday, Phillips said.

“This business is not going to end quietly. It rarely does when you get two summer days,” he said.

“A lot of heat and a lot of humidity is a fuel that causes thunderstorms.”

Despite a cold front entering the city on Monday, bringing temperatures to around 27C, Vaswani said temperatures will still feel like 37C with the humidity.

“Even though it might not be as hot as Sunday, it’s still going to be very sticky,” Vaswani said.

On Tuesday, temperatures in Toronto will drop to 23°C, before rising to around 27°C for the rest of the week, Vaswani said. She noted that 27 C was about average for August.

“It’s going to be a lot more comfortable,” she said. “You’re going to be able to go outside without feeling that oppressive heat and oppressive stickiness.”

This weekend’s heat is part of a warmer-than-usual summer, Phillips said. He said Toronto had seen 17 days with the temperature above 30C this summer, when normally the city would have seen just 11 in early August.

Phillips said he expects the hot day trend to continue through the rest of the summer through September.

“There is always a rule when it comes to weather: what you see is what you are going to get. It’s called persistence, and there’s nothing in the models to suggest it won’t continue,” Phillips said. “My feeling is that the summer is not over yet.”

He noted that those hotter days might not be “scorching,” but would be warmer than average at the end of summer.

Both meteorologists predicted near-average rainfall for August. While Phillips said the month could see summer’s lack of rain persist, Vaswani said August could be slightly wetter.

“The stickier it is, the more potential you have to bring some of that moisture as rain to the surface,” Vaswani said.

“Right now it looks slightly above normal for the rest of the month and that would probably be good for the GTA, given the drought.”

Both Phillips and Vaswani said the GTA often experiences a few days of heavy rain in August.

“A lot of times when we get this really humid air, the humidity comes from the tropics,” Vaswani said. “So we’ll often think of it (the rain) as a tropical downpour.”

She said residents should stay tuned to the forecast to prepare for more heat and the occasional thunderstorm.

“Don’t think you’re a weather master,” Phillips said. “There is a weather risk, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide under the bed. Keep an eye on the sky and plan your life accordingly.

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