Several new June temperature records have fallen across the Prairies, as an early summer-like heat wave has spanned the region for most of this week. While the heat eases somewhat and warnings drop off across western sections, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will continue to see temperatures soar as we head into the weekend. Along with the lingering sizzling conditions will be a widespread threat for thunderstorms, some which could reach severe criteria into Saturday. More on the storm timing and how long the heat will last, below.
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FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY: SEVERE THUNDERSTORM THREAT SPANS THE REGION
With the lingering heat and humidity to round out the week, thunderstorms are once again possible for parts of Alberta Friday, with some potential for them to reach severe levels for a zone stretching southeast from Edmonton. Any storms that do cross that threshold will feature large hail and heavy local downpours.
Further east, thunderstorm energy will pick up between the Manitoba and Ontario border Friday, but given how dry the ground has been, there may not be enough energy to allow those severe storms to develop.
But that risk is still there, with the greatest threats being large hail, strong winds and heavy rainfall.
More widespread rain and thunderstorms are anticipated for parts of the region on Saturday, as a system develops over Alberta and tracks eastwards.
The threat for severe storms to develop is centred over southern Manitoba once again.
HEAT EASES ACROSS ALBERTA, ALL-TIME RECORDS IN JEOPARDY FOR MANITOBA
The heat has been ongoing for much of this week, with widespread heat warnings still covering a large swath of Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Friday.
Widespread temperatures into the mid-30s are expected, and a few spots could even reach the upper 30s. Parts of southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, are in line for humidex values near 40.
Several new records were broken across the region on Thursday, with a near guarantee for more to be smashed over the weekend.
"Winnipeg's forecast is 37°C on Friday and it's possible the city could exceed that," says Matt Grinter, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Their hottest June 4th on record is 35.6°C set in 1988."
In fact, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Winnipeg was 42.2°C on July 11, 1936, and the city has only surpassed the 40-degree mark three times in history before.
"We do have some spots in southern Manitoba with a forecast of 40°C, so these next couple of days will likely be record-setting for the region," Grinter adds.
With the heat warnings in place, residents are being urged to plan outdoor activities during cooler hours of the day, as well as take frequent breaks from the heat and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
"The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors," says Environment Canada in the warning.
"Watch for the effects of heat illness: Swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the worsening of some health conditions."
Much cooler weather is expected for the western Prairies by the weekend and the heat will relax somewhat for southern Manitoba on Sunday.
Conditions will remain mostly dry across the southern Prairies through early and mid next week, with the western Prairies staying mostly cool. The 30+ degree heat however, will return to southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The jet stream pattern will also become favourable for more widespread unsettled weather next week, with forecasters watching a potentially significant system during the second half of the week. That could bring widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms, though it's still too early for exact details on that set-up and who will see the heaviest rain.
Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest forecast updates for the Prairies.