Summer weather has come early to Alberta, where many communities will see temperatures that flirt with 30°C until at least Wednesday. On Monday afternoon, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement concerning the hot and dry conditions.
The special weather statements were issued for every county in Alberta, as record breaking heat is possible for much of the province over the next couple of days.
“Well above normal temperatures are expected to continue with some record high temperatures broken,” read the statement for Edmonton.
The statement said that a cold front will bring some relief to the heat late Wednesday, returning temperatures to slightly above the seasonal average mark.
“These conditions pose a health risk when you are not used to the heat,” said the advisory, which also offers the following tips for anyone at risk from heat, especially older adults and young children, or people with chronic illnesses.
- Drink plenty of cool liquids before feeling thirsty
- Keep cool by dressing for the weather and spending a few hours each day in a cool place
“Once again, ridging of the jet stream in leading to clear, calm and hot conditions,” explained Global Edmonton’s chief meteorologist, Jesse Beyer.
“A dry stable air mass situated over the western prairies will lead to record breaking temperatures and dry surface conditions,” Beyer continued.
WATCH: The summer-like weather has Edmontonians heading outside, soaking in the sun. The temperatures are unusual this early in the spring, but as Sarah Kraus explains, that doesn’t mean people aren’t ready to enjoy it.
Environment Canada declared five temperature records and several more near-record highs in Alberta for Monday. Banff, High Level, Jasper, Peace River and Slave Lake were listed as having the hottest ever May 2 on record. Edmonton International Airport and Rocky Mountain House were listed as having tied record temperatures.
Beyer noted that the criteria for the special heat advisory this week does not fall in line with official Environment Canada standards.
“Typically heat advisories are issued when the temperature is forecast to be above 32°C for three days,” Beyer continued. “Due to a prolonged period of unseasonable heat, and a concern for people not yet acclimatized to such conditions, special weather statements have been issued to remind residents to stay cool and hydrated.”
“With the warmth and lack of moisture, wildfires are a major concern,” said Beyer.
“So not only is the heat an issue… [but] smoke in northern Alberta is a concern for many people.”
Several Alberta communities are under air quality statements including Fort McMurray, Fort Mackay, Peace River, Fairview, High Prairie and Manning.
“Smoke from fires near Fort St. John, BC is expected to produce poor air quality and reduced visibilities,” read Environment Canada’s air quality advisory, continuing to say that the smoke may pose a health risk to some individuals.
The statement said that “conditions may deteriorate overnight into Tuesday morning,” and that those with respiratory conditions or sensitivities may experience “increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.”
“Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” said the statement.
Alberta 511 traffic cameras showed visible smoke on Highway 63 near Fort McMurray Monday morning.
For more information on air quality health index (AQHI) rating for your community, visit www.airhealth.ca.