July 23rd, 2024

Western Canada heat wave to stretch into Saskatchewan, then Manitoba


By The Canadian Press on July 9, 2024.

A runner cools off at a misting station in Vancouver on July 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

A blistering heat wave is moving across Western Canada, pushing record temperatures and the threat of wildfires into Saskatchewan today.

Environment Canada meteorologist Jennifer Smith says a ridge of high pressure from Northern California crept into British Columbia on the weekend before invading the Northwest Territories and Alberta on Monday.

She says the heat will travel into Manitoba by Wednesday and may reach the edge of the northwestern Ontario border before it moves south into the United States again.

Smith says they’re watching for four things that lead to wildfires: hot and dry conditions, wind and lightning without rain, something that is in the forecast already for parts of B.C.

A separate heat wave has sent temperatures into the 30s in Atlantic Canada.

Dozens of heat warnings or alerts have been issued through to Saskatchewan, prompting Health Canada to warn of the risks extreme heat can bring.

Peter Berry of Health Canada says heat stroke is a “medical emergency” that can lead to long-term health problems or death, and people need to stay up to date on their local forecasts, while also checking on vulnerable populations.

“If you witness someone with complete or partial loss of consciousness, who is confused, has a high body temperature or has stopped sweating, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately,” he said.

While they wait for paramedics, they should attempt to cool the person using cold water and fanning them, he says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2024.

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