Over 60 heat warnings issued across four provinces
Published Saturday, August 11, 2018 2:01PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 11, 2018 8:10PM EDT
A long, hot summer continues for parts of northern Ontario and large swaths of Western Canada thanks to a ridge of high pressure that is blanketing the area under a blistering heatwave.
Environment Canada issued over 60 heat warnings in four provinces—Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario—on Saturday.
The temperature reached as high as 42 C in Moose Jaw, Sask. And in Winnipeg, a 36 C day beat a high-temperature record going back to 1978 when it hit 34.9 C.
“No question about it, we’re under a big dome,” David Phillips, a senior climatologist at Environment Canada, told the Canadian Press. “It’s like taking the lid on a barbecue and just putting it right over Western Canada and then cooking all that meat underneath.”
Calgary broke its all-time record high temperature on Friday when the city hit 36.4 C. The previous record was set 85 years ago. Alberta set 16 new record high temperatures for Aug. 10, eclipsing some records set in the late 19th century.
In Saskatchewan, SaskPower said that the province set a new summer power demand record of 3,520 megawatts, up 50 megawatts from the previous record set last August.
The scorching heat is making conditions for outdoor workers extremely difficult, particularly in some areas where air quality is already poor as a result of drifting smoke from wildfires in Alberta and British Columbia.
Brian Olford, a foreman with Superior Asphalt Paving, told CTV Winnipeg that it is not uncommon for guys to miss days of work because of heat exhaustion.
“You just kind of work with it,” he said.
Hailey Mulligan, the health and safety officer for Superior Asphalt Paving, said that workers fill out safety forms that provide instructions about what to do in case of heat exhaustion and map out where the nearest hospitals are in case of emergency.
She advises outdoor workers to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated with water.
Environment Canada recommends that people living in areas under a heat warning reschedule outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day, stay in air-conditioned buildings and take care to not leave people or pets in closed vehicles.
A spokesman for SaskPower said putting bedsheets and pillowcases into the freezer an hour before bed helps stay cool while sleeping.
Environment Canada said conditions are expected to improve over the weekend as a cold front moves into some areas.
With files from The Canadian Press