The weather was hot and humid in many parts of the Maritimes Thursday, from St. Stephen to the Annapolis Valley. It was so hot that New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization issued a heat alert, with humidex levels making temperatures feel like 39 to 40 degrees.

The high humidex in St. Stephen led to the first heat alert of 2017. The area experienced ten alerts in 2016 - the most in New Brunswick.

"Very humid,” says resident Debbie Fournier. “Very, very humid"

"There are times when it's almost oppressive because there's no air movement,” says golfer Don Malloy. “But you know, if you live in a lot of the areas around here, you get a breeze off the water."

The Annapolis Valley was experiencing waves of heat, rather than an actual heat wave Thursday.

People in Wolfville say even one day of wonderful weather is welcome.

"Oh, been waiting for this one for a long time and it's finally here,” says one resident.

"I wait for it all year. This is my favorite time, this is where I get out and thrive,” says another.

The high temperatures and humidity do come with risks. Anyone working outside Thursday needed to follow the advice of health professionals, and not overdo it with physical activity.

"Doing a job like this, the best thing to do is to take breaks every so often and drink lots of cold water,” says construction worker Dale Dunphy.

Almost overnight, ice cold drinks and air conditioning are now in heavy demand.

"The air conditioning really has to work hard and we get pretty busy,” says café employee Janelle Degraaff. “They want a cool drink to cool down."

However, few people are complaining about this week's change in the weather.

"It’s been a long couple of winters, we've had a lot of bad winters where we had a lot of snow and cold, so this is nice,” says Fournier. 

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron