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Heat radiates across Canada

How long will the hot weather last?
How long will the hot weather last?

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

July 21, 2011 — Heat and humidity continue to blanket most of the country, including the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Brooklyn trying to stay cool
Brooklyn trying to stay cool

From Saskatchewan to the Maritimes and even as far north as the Yukon and Northwest Territories the consensus is the same -- it's steaming hot.

“Other than British Columbia, parts of Alberta and Newfoundland, the rest of the country is really feeling staggering heat and humidity,” explains Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network.

And it looks like the hot spell is going to linger a little longer.

“With the present ridge in the jet stream, extreme heat and humidity is flowing into the eastern Prairies and Great Lakes region from the States,” explains Brian Dillon, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Winnipeg hit official heat wave status earlier this week. “That means three consecutive days of 32°C or higher,” explains Dillon.

The city hit a high of 32°C. Then on Tuesday, astonishing humidity levels helped the city feel closer to 46.

About 5,000 Winnipegers spent Sunday night without air conditioning after a malfunction at a local substation. However, Manitoba Hydro said that problem has since been resolved, and residents need not fear more blackouts during the heat wave.

“We’re experiencing somewhat higher loads. But we’re a winter-peaking utility, and compared to what our consumption would be on a cold winter day, it’s really nowhere near that,” said Scott Powell, a spokesman for Manitoba Hydro.

“We have ample electricity supply to meet that level of demand.”

Wednesday's scorching temperatures
Wednesday's scorching temperatures

Meanwhile, southern Ontario is baking in record-setting heat.

On Sunday, Toronto broke a temperature record, hitting a high of 35.2°C. On Monday, the city was just a fraction of a degree away from breaking a 1942 record. The city is also looking at writing a new page in the record book on Thursday with a forecast high of 38°C, feeling like 48 with the humidity.

As the dangerously hot conditions continue to build across the region, people are encouraged to “beat the heat” by drinking water and staying hydrated, staying in air-conditioned places, staying out of the sun and reducing strenuous outdoor activity.

The heat doesn't just stop in the central regions of the country. The north is also melting under the hot spell.

“The majority of the southern Territories have been feeling the heat this summer just like the Prairies,” explains Vettese. “When these ridges superstruct into the Prairies they can flow as far north as the territories,” she adds.

Because the warm air is travelling up from the Prairies and continuing to the northern edge of the ridge, certain places in the Territories have experienced day time highs into the 30s.

For a closer look at the hot temperatures across central Canada, be sure to check your local forecast.

With files from Jill Colton and Alexandra Pope

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