'Summer still holding tough' for much of Canada

Physically exhausting humidity and record-breaking temperatures have taken over much of Canada for the beginning of August, but there are very few signs an extended break in heat is coming for central and eastern parts of the country.

The Maritimes have experienced unprecedented, “relentless” heat and humidityHalifax, for example, has seen maximum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius for more than two weeks, while Charlottetown has experienced humidex temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius or higher.

Brett Anderson, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, said the extreme heat in Atlantic Canada is due to a Bermuda High sitting unusually far north, closer to the Maritimes.

As the name suggests, a Bermuda High is a high atmospheric pressure area usually centred around the Caribbean island from which it gets its name. These systems are frequently responsible for extended periods of heat in the spring and summer.

“It does look like that Bermuda High is going to weaken a little bit by later this week,” Anderson told Yahoo Canada News. “That will allow slightly cooler air to work its way in later this week.”

Despite this cooler air coming into the region, Anderson said temperatures will heat up. He said they will be significantly above normal again early next week.

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach in Toronto on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

Ontario and Quebec

Intense humidity will continue through mid-week in Ontario and Quebec, with breaks coming Friday and Saturday, Anderson said. The provinces won’t see any record high temperatures, he said.

Anderson said temperatures in southern Ontario will be fairly normal, or slightly above normal, until Thursday. Meanwhile, Quebec and northeastern Ontario will see temperatures around two to four degrees Celsius above normal until things start to cool down slightly on Friday.

“The big noticeable changes will be the decrease in humidity in the areas… late this week,” Anderson said. “Temperatures overall are probably still going to be averaging a little bit above normal across most of Ontario, into Quebec, through the weekend.”

As we get into early next week, Anderson said it’s going to be particularly hot again in much of Ontario and Quebec, with temperatures three to six degrees Celsius above normal.

AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist also pointed out storms across the provinces Tuesday and Wednesday could be locally heavy from southern Ontario to southern Quebec, but it won’t stop the heat from coming again next week.

“Summer’s still holding tough across much of eastern Canada here as we get into next week,” Anderson said.

The lightning-ignited Wardle wildfire in Kootenay National Park near Highway 93S, looking south in the Vermilion valley is shown in an Aug.1, 2018 handout photo. There’s no immediate relief in the weather forecast for crews battling hundreds of wildfires in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Parks Canada

Western Canada

Although western Canada has been “really ridiculously hot,” there are signs the region will be cooling down toward the weekend and into next week, Anderson said.

“That heat is going to shift eastward, getting into eastern Canada probably starting early next week,” he said.

Southern British Columbia and parts of southwestern Alberta have been struggling with heat, in addition to widespread smoke and decreased air quality with wildfire season intensifying. International crews from Mexico, New Zealand and Australia are arriving in B.C. to help combat the wildfires.

“They are going to get… a decent storm coming in Friday night into Saturday across southern B.C. into parts of Alberta, so that’s going to bring some rain and cooler air,” Anderson said.

“But again, these are huge fires in some areas. A storm like this is just going to put a minor dent in there, but every little bit helps.”

Anderson said when the rain in the region moves out, there will be more comfortable conditions coming in across B.C. and Alberta, with improvements to air quality as the smoke gets more dispersed.