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Canadians who feel like they are being roasted in an oven, stewing in their own juices, are not that far off.

A heat dome, a hot, unmoving high-pressure area, has settled over large swaths of the country, pushing the jet stream well to the north, and keeping cooler or wetter weather out, said Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips.

"It tends to encourage weather from the south, from the Gulf of Mexico," he said.

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"It's like a heat pump and it just sluggishly sits there and like an unwanted house guest, it just won't move."

The dome is hovering over much of the United States as well. It spread up to western Canada over the weekend, sending sizzling temperatures to the Prairies. Winnipeg sweltered under a high of 34.4 C on Tuesday and Regina baked with a high of 31.9 C.

As the dome settles a bit further east, Environment Canada is predicting the mercury will hit 37 C Thursday. Further south in Windsor, Ont., it's expected to go up to 39 C.

Just be glad it's not 1937 - that's when the hottest temperature ever was recorded in Canada, with a high of 45 C in Midale and Yellow Grass, Sask., Mr. Phillips said.

Still, temperatures in the high 30s are expected to feel more like 48 C.

Municipalities across Ontario such as Ottawa, the Niagara region, Waterloo and Cornwall are issuing various heat alerts and advisories, which allow for city cooling centres to operate.

In Toronto, the medical officer of health upgraded a heat alert to an extreme heat alert and hours have been extended at some city pools.

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The Windsor-Essex Health Unit has issued a level 2 heat alert, which is put in place when the forecast predicts four or more days with a humidex value reaching 40.

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