Saskatchewan has experienced record-breaking temperatures this week.
“We do have a big dome of high pressure sitting over … all of western North America. This is the same airmass that’s causing record temperatures in Death Valley, (California), and we’ve seen lots of hot air across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and into Manitoba as well. So all of western North America is feeling this heat,” Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Terri Lang said on Thursday.
Three of the broken daily maximum temperature records were over a century old. On Tuesday, Regina, Moose Jaw and Outlook set new highs of 35.9, 36. 5 and 35.7 degrees Celsius, respectively, over records set in 1919.
“Some of the records that we did see were over 100 years old, broken records and those ones we find more significant. Some of the records that have broken. The period of record isn’t very long, but the ones that we do see falling that were over 100 years old are pretty significant records to fall. That speaks to the intensity of the heat that we’ve seen,” Lang said.
Lang said she wouldn’t “necessarily (call the current situation) rare.”
“We do tend to get to August heatwaves … but when we do see old records that are falling, we do take note of those,” Lang said.
“It’s significant in that we haven’t had a lot of heat this summer, kind of kicked in maybe the end of July. But up until that point, it had been kind of on the cool side and kind of wet summer.
“But then somebody flipped the switch and we kind of got into this hotter mode. And this is something that Saskatchewanians dream of through those really cold winter months.”
Lang said Weyburn was Canada’s hottest spot on Wednesday at 37.9. It also set broke a previous record of 35.6, which was set in 1960.
She also urged people to be cautious during high temperatures.
“The studies have shown that we can all sort of tolerate a hot day, but it’s when the heat is extended over a couple days and we’re not getting really cooled off at night so your body’s not recovering. That’s when the heat effects really start to kick in,” Lang said.
“So people should be taking those precautions and watching out for those more vulnerable people, the elderly, young kids, those with health conditions. We should all be really tuned into that with this heat.
“During this (novel coronavirus pandemic) time, (it’s) harder to find that relief for those air-conditioned places but I think we should get out and enjoy it as best we can without endangering ourselves, because we know what’s coming in a few months and pretty soon we’re going to be on the opposite end of the scale and talking about cold records.”
Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan said the upper ridge of high pressure that’s brought in the record-breaking heat has pushed out of the area. He added it’s being replaced by an upper trough that will bring a return to unsettled conditions heading into the weekend.
As of Friday, all heat warnings over the southern quarter of Saskatchewan have ended. These are issued when very high temperature or humidity conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke.
The following locations set new daily maximum temperature records on Aug. 20 (new record in degrees C/old record in degrees C):
- Assiniboia area: 35.3/33.3 set in 2012;
- Elbow area: 35.5/34.4 set in 1967;
- Last Mountain Lake area: 33.3/30.6 set in 1979;
- Lucky Lake area: 34.2/32.5 set in 1979;
- Regina area: 34.7/33.9 set in 1961;
- Weyburn area: 34.1/34 set in 1991.
The following locations set new daily maximum temperature records on Aug. 19 (new record/old record):
- Broadview area: 34.8/33.9 set in 1960;
- Estevan area: 37.4/35.8 set in 1992;
- Indian Head area: 37/36.7 set in 1933;
- Last Mountain Lake area: 35.8/33.9 set in 1979;
- Moose Jaw area: 36.4/36 set in 2008;
- Regina area: 36.9/36.1 set in 1933;
- Weyburn area: 37.9/35.6 set in 1960;
- Wynyard area: 33.9/32.6 set in 1992.
The following locations set new daily maximum temperature records on Aug. 18 (new record/old record):
- Assiniboia: 36.6/35 set in 1986;
- Coronach: 36.5/34 set in 1986;
- Last Mountain Lake: 36.9/34 set in 1984;
- Lucky Lake: 36.2/34 set in 1979;
- Moose Jaw: 36.5/36.1 set in 1919;
- Outlook: 35.7/35 set in 1919;
- Regina: 35.9/35 set in 1919;
- Rockglen: 35.8/32.6 set in 2003;
- Rosetown: 36.3/35 set in 1984;
- Saskatoon: 35.3/34.8 set in 1991;
- Watrous area: 35/34 set in 1984;
- Weyburn: 35.7/34.5 set in 1983;
- Wynyard: 33.8/33.4 set in 1984.
The following locations set new daily maximum temperature records on Aug. 17 (new record/old record):
- Assiniboia area: 36.9/36.1 set in 2018;
- Buffalo Narrows: 29.8/29 set in 1999;
- Cypress Hills Provincial Park: 33.5/31 set in 2018;
- Last Mountain Lake: 34.7/31.7 set in 1979;
- Lucky Lake: 33.8/33.4 set in 2018;
- Maple Creek: 37.4/34.4 set in 1958;
- Meadow Lake: 30.6/29.5 set in 1984;
- Waskesiu Lake: 31.2/28.5 set in 1984;
- Watrous: 33.9/32.8 set in 1958;
- Wynyard: 32.3/30.8 set in 1981.
For the latest conditions and warnings, download the SkyTracker weather app.