Currently in Toronto — November 11th, 2022

A soaking rain and then cold blast

The weather, currently.

Soaking rain and then dare I say it - snow in the forecast? Friday will start out mainly dry, under variable cloudiness with just a risk of a shower. The wake-up temperature is near 9°C. The clouds will continue to build in with periods of rain developing for the afternoon. This will partly be the remnants of tropical storm Nicole. There will also be a steady rain for the drive home. 15-20mm is possible with double that amount for parts of eastern Ontario. The high is 17°C. The wind will be from the south at 15-30km/h and the UV index will be 2 or low.

Friday night: cloudy with isolated showers and a low of 8°C.

Side Note: We will see our first widespread lake effect snow event this weekend. The traditional snowbelt areas, including Barrie, could see 10-15+cm. Cold air will also flood in with our first frost (below freezing) in the city happening Sunday night. This will be the latest first frost for Toronto on record. The previous date was November 8, 2004. Scattered flurries can be expected in the GTA on Monday.

Anwar Knight

What you need to know, currently.

Extreme heat has caused hundreds of deaths in Texas prisons, new research shows.

The study, which was published in the JAMA Network Open journal last week, showed a noticeable correlation between  lack of air conditioning, and the risk of inmate death, in U.S. prisons. The research also revealed that in Texas, where just one in every three prisons in the state is fully air-conditioned, 271 people have died over the past two decades because of the state’s failure to properly cool their prisons.

These deaths occurred on particularly hot days, where the heat index rose above the location’s 90th percentile. According to the study, the risk of death rose to nearly 15 percent on these days. Each one degree increase in temperature over 85 degrees F (29 degrees C) increased risk of death by 0.7 percent.

And, extreme heat and exhaustion have more health impacts than just death. The risk of heat related illness increases when people are exposed to temperatures that frequently go beyond 100 degrees F (38 degrees C), often reporting dizziness, nausea, heat rashes and muscle cramps.

Temperatures inside Texas prisons have reached as high as 149 degrees F (65 degrees C) in recent years. Historically, the state has seen temperatures anywhere from around 50 degrees F to 90 degrees F (10 to 32 degrees C). However, climate change will lead to hotter, more oppressive temperatures — and more frequent hot days. In fact, more than a third of Texas counties will be subject to more than 50 days with heat above 105 degrees F (41 degrees C), according to data from the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.

Regardless of these dangerous conditions, Texas lawmakers have failed to advance bills that would fund increased air conditioning in prisons, claiming that there haven’t been any heat-related deaths. This is, of course, a lie.

Texas does require that some inmates — like those in county jails where folks often await trial — have air-conditioning. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards requires that all county jails keep the temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees F (18-29 degrees C).

If similar temperature regulations were enacted in state prisons, it could save lives.

—Aarohi Sheth

What you can do, currently.