Heat warning in effect for Calgary stampede visitors, special weather statement in B.C.
A heat warning remains in effect for most of southern Alberta and parts of southeastern Saskatchewan while a special weather statement was in effect for parts of southwestern British Columbia.
Environment Canada warned daily temperatures reaching near 29 degrees or higher with a minimum overnight temperature of around 14 degrees in Alberta and Saskatchewan as the Calgary Stampede heads into its third day.
Calgary Stampede visitors are particularly being warned to be aware of how much time they spend outside in the sun and what types of fluids they’re drinking. The stampede kicked off Friday with a record parade crowd of an estimated 275,000 people, according to Calgary Police Service.
According to Dave Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada, Calgary had only one day at 30 C or above last year.
“It’s just day after day of dry weather, sunny weather,” said Phillips, adding that Calgary has had only a few millimetres of rain in recent weeks.
Residents and visitors to the region are being advised to plan their outdoor activities during cooler hours of the day and to drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages to ensure they are staying hydrated.
According to EMS Public Education Officer Stuart Brideaux, most people get into trouble under the influence of drugs and alcohol when it comes to heat-related illnesses.
“They’re not paying attention to their bodies,” Brideaux told CTV Calgary. “They’re not recognizing how hot they’re getting; they’re not really realizing that they’re not coping well in the heat and sun.”
They are also being encouraged to recognize the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion including high body temperature, a lack of sweat, confusion, fainting and unconsciousness.
A Calgary shelter is collecting bottled water to give out to the homeless duringthe extreme heat. Diana Camelo, who works for the shelter, said that for someone who does not have access to shelter or to water, heat-related illnesses can appear very quickly.
Parts of southwestern British Columbia are under a special weather statement and an air quality warning, in part due to the wildfires blazing through parts of the province.
B.C. is currently facing above seasonal temperature due to a ridge of high pressure that is also increasing fire danger. Daytime temperatures are expected to reach low to mid 30’s over the weekend.
The ridge of high pressure is expected to weaken early next week, bringing cooler conditions.
Vulnerable individuals, including children, seniors, outdoor workers, those who are socially isolated and individuals with pre-existing lung, heart, kidney, nervous system, mental health or diabetic conditions, are being encouraged to spend minimal time outdoors or to spend time in cooled public buildings.
Environment Canada issues heat warnings when high temperatures and humidity can pose a potential risk of heat-related illness.
With files from CTV Calgary and CTV Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks