Environment Canada issued heat warnings for Calgary and much of Alberta on the weekend and those warnings were extended further afield on Tuesday.
Heat warnings are issued for Calgary when the daytime high is expected to be 29 C or higher for at least two days. For Lethbridge, heat warnings are issued when the daytime high is expected to be 32 C or higher for two or more days.
The coming heat wave is expected to result in temperatures in the low 30s Wednesday and Thursday in Calgary, and possibly as high as 37 C on Friday. If it does get that warm it will be a new all-time record high. The current record high is 36.1 C and that has only occurred twice in the city’s history. The first time was on July 15, 1919, and it happened again on July 25, 1933.
Mid-July to mid-August is normally the hottest time of year, not only in Calgary but all over the northern hemisphere.
Temperatures are expected to come down to seasonal or even slightly below on the weekend as cooler air is allowed to move in from the northwest. However, temperatures will begin to climb once again early next week.
Late Tuesday afternoon, special air quality statements were issued for the Banff, Calgary and Red Deer regions due to heavy smoke in the air from wildfires to the west and southwest.
As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, the air quality health index in Calgary was 4 or moderate.
Conditions may worsen in the days ahead as a strong ridge of high pressure centred over California continues to push hot air northward. The circulation is also moving smoke from wildfires in Washington and British Columbia into Alberta. Light winds will make it difficult to flush out the smoke and it may linger for days.
The elderly, small children and people with health issues, especially those who have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma, are most at risk from the heat and poor air quality. People with those conditions should limit time spent outdoors. Seek air-conditioned spaces, drink plenty of fluids, but avoid alcohol.
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