Meteorological summer has begun, and with the arrival of June on the Prairies comes rising temperatures and sweltering humidity, as many areas soar well into the 30s this week. Humidex values will be approaching 40 by Friday. Heat warnings and special weather statements are blanketing the region, advising residents to stay cool and hydrated during the intense summer-like heat. Conditions will also be quite dry, with the next chance of any rain coming Friday for Alberta, as well as the chance for thunderstorms. A potent upper ridge is helping prevent any significant systems from swinging through. More on just how warm things will get, and when the region may see some rain again, below.
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THIS WEEK: WIDESPREAD SUMMER SIZZLE PROMPTS HEAT WARNINGS, SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENTS
A southerly flow across Western Canada is taking centre stage this week, thanks to a strong upper ridge of high pressure. On Wednesday, much of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan will hit or exceed the 30-degree mark.
While most of the region will be dry Wednesday, there is some instability in the atmosphere in northern Manitoba, extending into northern Ontario. This could spark non-severe thunderstorms in the afternoon hours.
Any storms that do fire up may bring small hail and heavy rainfall.
Extreme heat will continue to build across the region with temperatures reaching the mid-30s in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan on Thursday.
By Friday, parts of southern Manitoba, including the city of Winnipeg, could see humidex values inch closer to 40. Widespread temperatures into the mid-30s are expected, and a few spots could even reach the upper 30s.
The prolonged period of intense heat prompted Environment Canada to issue heat warnings and special weather statements across much of the Prairies.
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."
LATE WEEK: MORE WIDESPREAD CHANCE FOR RAIN AND THUNDERSTORMS, SLIGHT REPRIEVE FROM THE HEAT
Accompanying the warm-up will be abundant sunshine, continuing through until late week — resulting in a drier pattern once more.
Thunderstorms are possible for Alberta on Friday, with the potential for some to be strong or severe. More widespread rain and thunderstorms are anticipated for parts of the region this weekend as a system develops over Alberta and tracks east.
South of the widespread rain, there is the potential risk for thunderstorms, some could be strong or severe in nature, but overall the southern Prairies will become very dry again. But forecasters are watching the potential for a more stormy pattern for next week.
The hot weather will continue across southern Manitoba and into southern Saskatchewan at times through the middle of next week, but will be much cooler for western parts of the region by the weekend and early next week.
LITTLE RELIEF FOR DROUGHT CONDITIONS AS MOST OF THE WEEK REMAINS DRY
While there was some beneficial rain last month -- helping to push some drought stricken areas out of "severe" territory -- some areas in southern Manitoba still remain very dry.
Parts of southern Alberta remain in a moderate drought, which will likely worsen this week with the rising temperatures and lack of widespread rain.
The upper ridge in place will deter any systems from moving into the region, which could become a growing concern once again, with some regions already in desperate need of some rain.
Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest forecast updates for the Prairies.