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Manitoba's sizzling summer


One of the best ways to cool off? A refreshing dip in the water!
One of the best ways to cool off? A refreshing dip in the water!

Jill Colton, staff writer

August 25, 2011 — Heat and oppressive humidity have been the story of the summer across Manitoba.

The lazy dog days of summer.
The lazy dog days of summer.

The heat has been on -- and turned up a couple notches -- across Manitoba this summer.

Hot and sticky conditions have been the norm since July across the central Canadian province and it has a lot to do with the jet stream's pattern.

A ridge in the jet over the central eastern part of North America is keeping things well above seasonal, explains Gina Ressler, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network.

It's this same ridge, in fact, that brought the oppressively dangerous heat to parts of the United States. And essentially, it's the same hot air mass that has extended all the way into Manitoba.

The powerful heat surge has even put a serious strain on the power grid. We did have a couple of occasions this summer where we used more of our hydro electricity than we've ever used in the history of the province over one or two days, Manitoba Premiere Greg Selinger told The Weather Network.

In Canada, there has been a definite weather trend this summer, says Ressler. A trough in the jet over the west coast and a ridge over the central and eastern part of the continent.

Although summer is winding down, it hasn't stopped the onslaught of torrid conditions in southern Manitoba. Earlier this week, a southwest flow of hot and dry air sent temperatures soaring.

Several record highs were set on Tuesday, including Winnipeg. The mercury rose to 37.2C in the city, eclipsing the previous high for August 23rd of 36.7C back in 1952.

This was also Winnipeg's hottest temperature in 16 years. Other cities also broke records including Gretna (37.2C ), Melita (33.3C ) and Pinawa (35.4C ).

And although the baking heat does put extra stress on the province's cooling systems, Manitobians aren't necessarily opposed to hot days believes Selinger.

We sort of like them after the cold winters -- we sort of like the opportunity to be outside

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