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Beating the heat at the Calgary Stampede

Staff writers

July 12, 2012 — Record heat and dry conditions have people seeking shelter and shade at the Calgary Stampede. The Weather Network's Natalie Thomas offers some tips to beat the heat.

Heat lingers for the Stampede
Heat lingers for the Stampede

Hot weather arrived just in time for the 100th Calgary Stampede last weekend.

The forecast had people flocking to the park and a daily attendance record was set on Sunday after close to 185,000 people passed through the gates.

Temperatures continued to soar on Monday and Tuesday, with daytime highs climbing above the 30 degree mark. The city hit 27 degrees on Wednesday, but with the humidity, it still felt closer to 32.

"It's been a while since the region has seen temperatures into the 30s and a ridge of high pressure is what's been keeping things so warm," says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Health officials say they've been busy with heat related illnesses over the past couple of days and are urging people to try and stay hydrated.

The heat is also taking a toll on animals that are struggling to stay cool. Owners say they're showering their horses with water in an effort to keep them relaxed and comfortable between shows.

Heat takes a toll on the animals as well
Heat takes a toll on the animals as well

High heat has impacted the power grid as well and forced officials to institute rotating blackouts early in the week.

It's unclear if the blackout was responsible for a power outage that left nearly 200 riders stranded on the Skyride at the stampede Monday afternoon. Workers relied on a generator, which helped to safely remove people from the ride.

Despite the problems the heat is causing, most people say they prefer this type of forecast.

The Calgary Stampede back in 1999 was known as one of the soggiest on record. 40 mm of rain fell over three days, and temperatures were barely above zero. On the 15th, there was even a trace of snow reported.

Be sure to tune into The Weather Network on TV as Natalie Thomas reports LIVE from the Stampede this week.

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