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13 temperature records unofficially broken in Alberta on Tuesday as heat wave expected to intensify

Click to play video: 'Heading the Calgary Stampede? Remember to prepare for extreme heat'
Heading the Calgary Stampede? Remember to prepare for extreme heat
WATCH: Calgary remains under a heat warning as a high-pressure system makes its way across most of Alberta. Those heading down to the Calgary Stampede are being asked to plan ahead. Michael King reports – Jul 10, 2024

More than a dozen areas in Alberta saw their records for warmest temperatures on July 9 unofficially broken on Tuesday, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The Edmonton area also unofficially tied its July 9 heat record of 34.1 C, which was set in 2015. Records have been kept in the Edmonton area since 1880.

In a post on the weather agency’s website, ECCC noted that a “ridge of high pressure brought very hot temperatures to much of Alberta again on Tuesday.”

You can view the temperatures reached in all 13 areas where preliminary data indicates they broke July 9 records at the bottom of this article.

ECCC released the information in a weather summary issued early Wednesday, the same day the sweltering heat wave was expected to intensify in the province.

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Edmonton temperatures are forecast to reach 36 C on Wednesday, according to the weather agency. Calgary is expected to reach 33 C.

Farther south in the province, Medicine Hat is forecast to reach 37 C on Wednesday while Lethbridge temperatures are projected to reach 36 C.

Temperature records were not the only historic numbers reached on Tuesday. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) said the province hit a new all-time summer peak energy record on July 9, at 11,820 megawatts. The previous summer record was 11,721 megawatts, set on June 29, 2021.

“The grid is in good shape, but energy conservation always helps,” the AESO said in a post on social media.

The AESO encourages Albertans to turn off unnecessary lights and appliances, minimize the use of air conditioning and delay 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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Alberta Wildfire said Tuesday that 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.

On Wednesday morning, Alberta Wildfire officials posted on social media that they are expecting “extreme heat will cause challenging conditions for firefighters today.”

“We are expecting growth on out-of-control fires in northern Alberta.”

Meteorologist says Alberta seeing significant heat events more frequently

Alysa Pederson, a warning preparedness meteorologist with ECCC, spoke with Global News on Wednesday and noted in Edmonton, the city could potentially break its July 10 record for heat and even its all-time record for heat.

“We came close back in the heat event of 2021,” she said, noting that longer periods of heat like this occur in Western Canada “almost every year.”

However, Pederson said for Edmonton to even reach high 30s in degrees “is a little bit more rare.”

She said “these events are happening more and more frequently” in Alberta and ECCC will do some “attribution science” work on this heat wave in the coming weeks to determine to what degree climate change may have played a role in it.

“But we do know that the climate is warming,” Pederson said. “We do know that the climate is warming faster in Alberta and Canada’s North.

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“And so we are seeing these extreme events happen more frequently than we used to.”

In Edmonton, Pederson noted that three of the last eight times the city hit temperatures of 35 C “all happened in the last five years.”

She said the current heat wave is due to what meteorologists call an upper ridge.

“Essentially the jet stream, the strong winds in the atmosphere, are going west and north of us,” Pederson said. “All the storm systems are going into the Northwest Territories and we’re stuck with stagnant, not very windy, very hot air across Alberta.”

Alberta heat records unofficially broken on July 9:

Athabasca area

New record of 34.1 C
Old record of 33.6 C set in 2015
Records in this area have been kept since 1900

Beaverlodge area

New record of 33.7 C
Old record of 31.6 C set in 2023
Records in this area have been kept since 1912

Camrose area

New record of 32.9 C
Old record of 32.8 C set in 2015
Records in this area have been kept since 1921

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Edson area

New record of 33.6 C
Old record of 33.2 C set in 2015
Records in this area have been kept since 1916

Fort Chipewyan area

New record of 32.6 C
Old record of 32.2 C set in 1963
Records in this area have been kept since 1883

Grande Prairie area

New record of 34.6 C
Old record of 32.2 C set in 2021
Records in this area have been kept since 1922

Hendrickson Creek area

New record of 32.1 C
Old record of 28.7 C set in 2015
Records in this area have been kept since 1995

Jasper area

New record of 35.8 C
Old record of 34.4 C set in 1926
Records in this area have been kept since 1916

Nordegg area

New record of 32.4 C
Old record of 30.7 C set in 2015
Records in this area have been kept since 1915

Red Earth Creek area

New record of 33.5 C
Old record of 31.6 C set in 2021
Records in this area have been kept since 1994

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Slave Lake area

New record of 33.6 C
Old record of 31.9 C set in 2012
Records in this area have been kept since 1922

Vegreville area

New record of 32.8 C
Old record of 32.4 C set in 2015
Records in this area have been kept since 1918

Wainwright area
New record of 34.4 C
Old record of 33.5 C set in 2015
Records in this area have been kept since 1966

Want your weather on the go? Download Global News’ Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad and Android

— with files from Caley Gibson, Global News

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