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Hottest temperatures of the week on the way for Alberta, some areas to reach 37 C

Click to play video: 'Staying safe in Edmonton’s extreme heat'
Staying safe in Edmonton’s extreme heat
WATCH ABOVE: Temperatures in Edmonton could get as high as 35 C this week and heat warnings are in effect. As Jasmine King explains, people are taking extra steps to ensure everyone stays safe – Jul 8, 2024

Some areas of Alberta could see temperatures hit 37 C on Wednesday, as Environment and Climate Change Canada expects Tuesday and Wednesday to be the hottest days this week.

Nearly all of Alberta, with the exception of the Jasper area, remained under a heat warning as of Tuesday morning.

“Most of Alberta will see the hottest temperatures, up to 37 C, on Tuesday and Wednesday,” ECCC said in its warning. “Overnight lows ranging from the mid-teens into the low-20s will not provide much relief from the daytime heat.”

Edmonton temperatures are forecast to reach 34 C on Tuesday and 36 C on Wednesday, according to ECCC. Calgary is expected to reach 30 C on Tuesday and 33 C on Wednesday.

Areas farther south are even hotter, with Medicine Hat forecast to reach 32 C on Tuesday and a crippling 37 C on Wednesday. Lethbridge temperatures are forecast to reach 32 C on Tuesday and 36 C on Wednesday.

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“Alberta, along with the rest of Western Canada, has seen a ridge of high pressure move in from the west and bring the hot air along with it,” Global Edmonton chief meteorologist Phil Darlington said Tuesday morning.

“It keeps our skies fairly clear, and does make it harder for storms that could offer some relief to develop.

“Parts of British Columbia have already cracked the 40s and while Alberta is not likely to get as hot, mid- to high-30s are still possible.”

Edmonton outdoor pool reservations ‘totally booked’

Those looking to escape the heat at an outdoor pool in Edmonton aren’t alone.

“People are lining up to get in, trying to stay cool,” said Shauna Graham with the City of Edmonton.

The city operates five outdoor pools. People can either reserve a specific time at any given facility up to seven days in advance of their visit, or drop in and risk waiting in line if the pool is at capacity.

Graham said capacities range from 500 to 1,200 people, depending on the pool.

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“There’s such a low number of days in the city that we get capacity day after day. By looking at the forecast over the next two weeks, we may start hitting it more frequently, but it’s not typical.”

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Reserving a time slot guarantees access to the pool and people can stay as long as they want. Graham said Tuesday that the reservation system is totally booked for all five pools for the next week.

“After COVID, some people wanted that ability to book so we kept it,” she explained.

Click to play video: '‘Cannonball!’: Water restrictions ease in time for Calgary inaugural summer heat wave'
‘Cannonball!’: Water restrictions ease in time for Calgary inaugural summer heat wave

Temperature records were broken in several areas of Alberta on Monday, as the mercury soared into the 30s. The Banff, Camrose, Cold Lake, Drumheller, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lloydminster and Wainwright areas all broke temperature records, to name a few.

“While many look forward to conditions like these, it is important to remember to take frequent breaks from the heat in cooler spots,” Darlington said. “Remember to hydrate regularly, and monitor for signs of heat exhaustion or stroke. It may seem obvious, but children and pets must not be left in a vehicle for any length of time in temperatures like these.”

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Heat puts pressure on Alberta energy grid

Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Monday, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) issued a grid alert, asking Albertans to conserve energy.

“An unplanned thermal generation outage, high temperatures causing a reduction in some generator capability and a line outage that impacted import capability contributed to the supply shortfall that caused the alert,” the AESO said in a statement Tuesday.

The AESO said it maintains “an adequate supply cushion to meet demand.” A grid alert is declared when demand starts to exceed supply and reserves are used to supply energy requirements.

“This does not mean that rotating outages are imminent,” the AESO said. “We were not close to rotating outages on July 8.”

The demand peak on Monday was 11,599 MW, according to the AESO, who said it had 545 MW “of contingency reserves dispatched and available to use.”

“Our system controllers are managing through this current heat wave in partnership with industry. At this time, we have adequate generation forecasted for the next several days. However, with high temperatures expected to remain for the rest of the week, pulling up demand—we remain alert, as always, to the ever-changing environment and are prepared to respond,” the AESO said.

The AESO recommends turning off unnecessary lights and appliances, minimizing the use of air conditioning and delaying the use of major power-consuming appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers until after peak hours, which are from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

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The grid alert was lifted just after 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Heat leads to increased wildfire risk, poor air quality

Alberta Wildfire said Tuesday morning the heat is leading to very high to extreme wildfire danger in the province. The entire southern part of the Forest Protection Area is under a fire advisory.

Air quality advisories were also in place for much of northern Alberta on Tuesday due to wildfire smoke. ECCC said very poor air quality from the smoke will likely impact parts of northern Alberta through Wednesday evening.

While cooler temperatures will begin to move into Alberta on Thursday, the heat is generally expected to last into next week.

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“This ridge is expected to ease up a bit by the weekend, but another looks to be building back in from the West for next week,” Darlington said.

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