Intense, unrelenting hot weather continues to plague much of the Prairies as a heat dome moves east.
On Canada Day, extreme heat warnings are in place for all of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and much of Manitoba and B.C.
Some areas are recording record-high temperatures, and Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Shannon Moodie says 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.”
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. We have a few regions left just in the southeast, but they’ll likely be added later today.”
Even northern communities are affected.
In Thompson, Man., about 700 kilometres north of Winnipeg, the high is 34 C and Churchill will roast at 30 C, although it’s not under the weather agency’s extreme heat warning.
The City of Winnipeg has 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.