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Heat invades western Canada

The 'Dog Days of Summer' in Comox, BC
The 'Dog Days of Summer' in Comox, BC

Staff writers

July 9, 2012 — The heat and humidity is on the rise in the western half of the country. Record highs have been set over the last few days.

A ridge in the jet stream is keeping things hot
A ridge in the jet stream is keeping things hot

It's not too often that a widespread humidex advisory is issued in Alberta.

Known for its' "dry heat," the province normally doesn't have a "feels like" attached to its forecast description. This week, however, is a bit of a different story.

"As the heat builds under the ridge, humidex values will rise to the mid 30's and low 40's," says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "That weather will slowly spread eastward by the end of the week."

The hot weather arrived just in time for the Calgary Stampede, as well. The event kicked off for the 100th time last weekend as temperatures in Alberta were beginning to soar.

And it's not just cities like Calgary and Edmonton feeling the heat. Scorching temperatures are also being recorded in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British Columbia. On Sunday, record highs were shattered in places like Banff, Nelson and Cardston. Princeton, BC climbed all the way to a record-breaking 34.7C.

On Monday, it was a similar situation. Edmonton, Drumheller and Fort McMurray set new records, with temperatures into the mid thirties once again. With air conditioners buzzing, rotating power outages took place in both Edmonton and Calgary to ease the strain on the grid and avoid blackouts.

Beating the heat in Regina, SK
Beating the heat in Regina, SK

Conditions are even heating up in the Northwest Territories. On Monday, Yellowknife climbed to 30C. With the humidity, it felt like 33.

The conditions persisted through Tuesday, with records being broken across Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories once again. The hot spot of the country was Garden River, Alberta, at a sizzling 36.7C.

While temperatures haven't exactly been sweltering in Vancouver, the city has been enjoying sunshine and 20-degree highs in recent days. That's a big improvement from June, when conditions were predominantly wet and cool.

With the heat expected to linger through the week, Dillon says to expect a risk of thunderstorms.

"Each day there's a chance of scattered thundershowers that will make the conditions steamy," he says.

You can stay on top of your local weather forecast by heading to our Canadian Cities Index.

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