Hazardous heat will build in Alberta, threatening wildfire ignition
A heat dome is expected to develop over B.C. and Alberta this weekend that will bring extreme temperatures to both provinces.
Unfortunately, the temperatures will be the perfect recipe for wildfires, with the province now under a state of emergency, as 80 active wildfires burn.
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The dire situation has forced thousands from their homes, with the extent of the damage difficult to determine as things continue to develop and unfold.
A change in the weather conditions did help firefighters over the weekend, as light rain moved in and the humidity cleared. Temperatures also eased, as a broad trough took over the weather pattern across Western Canada. Officials say conditions remain volatile, however.
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To complicate the situation, an upcoming heat dome -- an atmospheric phenomenon known to promote a heat wave or a prolonged period of hot weather -- will move into the province this weekend with temperatures into the upper 20s and low 30s even.
"The wildfire threat will likely be exacerbated into the weekend, as high heat and an upper-level ridge in the jet stream are forecast to return to Western Canada," Kelly Sonnenburg, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, said.
A building ridge in the jet stream is what will transition to a heat dome this weekend, and that will contribute to several more days of summer-like temperatures. It will also erase any sort of rain chances right through the Mother's Day weekend.
High pressure in the upper atmosphere will act like a dome or cap, trapping the heat and warm temperatures for several days or longer.
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Temperatures into the weekend are forecast to be a concerning 10°C above normal for this time of year across northern Alberta. Daytime high temperatures will hover in the mid-to-upper 20s throughout the weekend.
In communities with elevated or high wildfire danger ratings, or could be threatened by a blaze in the near future, residents should take time now to review emergency preparedness and evacuation plans in the event of a nearby fire. Individuals and families should be prepared to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours in case of evacuation due to wildfires.
WATCH: What is a 'heat dome', and why is it so dangerous?
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