Heat dome continues to bake Prairie provinces as record temperatures expected

·2 min read
A child cools down using a Winnipeg splash pad. Nearly the entire province is under an extreme heat warning as temperatures move in to the mid to high 30s. (CBC - image credit)
A child cools down using a Winnipeg splash pad. Nearly the entire province is under an extreme heat warning as temperatures move in to the mid to high 30s. (CBC - image credit)

Intense, unrelenting hot weather continues to plague much of the Prairies as a heat dome moves east.

On Canada Day, extreme heat warnings were in place for all of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and much of Manitoba and B.C. Northwestern Ontario is now also under a heat warning.

Dozens of locations across western Canada broke temperature records on Wednesday, and Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Shannon Moodie said that's likely due to climate change.

"Are we feeling that we're starting to see the impacts? Of course," she said.

"This is an extended period of extreme heat. We saw Lytton, B.C., broke Canada's all-time hottest record three days in a row, so I mean, this is quite substantial."

Riley Laychuk/CBC
Riley Laychuk/CBC

Moodie says the heat dome has arrived in Manitoba, and by the weekend the province will see temperatures in the mid- to high-30s.

"Yesterday was when we had Saskatchewan blanketed in warnings. Now we have most of Manitoba blanketed in heat warnings."

Even northern communities are affected.

Tadoule Lake, Man., a remote community about 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg, reached 37.8 C on Thursday afternoon. The normal July high is just 19 C, according to Environment Canada.

Castlegar, B.C., was Canada's hot spot Thursday afternoon at 39.7 C.

Riley Laychuk/CBC
Riley Laychuk/CBC

The City of Winnipeg opened up the main floor of city hall as a cooling centre starting on Canada Day so people can seek shelter from the sweltering heat.

The city will also have its cooling tent at Central Park open for the next four days from noon to 8 p.m.

Both locations will have bottled water.

Residents advised to watch for signs of heatstroke

Moodie says people in all provinces should take care and watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, especially in light of the spike in sudden deaths during B.C.'s record-breaking heat wave.

Cooling down can prove difficult if you don't have air conditioning, or access to it, during the pandemic.

"Definitely seek shade. Make sure that you have water wherever you go, even if you're doing errands, make sure you're bringing water with you. Even if you're driving anywhere, make sure you have water in the car," she said.

"If you're without air conditioning, sit in a cool bath, have a cool shower, get some fans. Always keep track of yourself and how your body's feeling."

WATCH | Heat dome moving east:

Moodie says both Saskatchewan and Manitoba can expect thunderstorms to break the heat on Sunday as the region moves to more seasonal temperatures.

In Alberta, the weather agency says the "prolonged, dangerous and historic heat wave" will persist into Monday.

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