Hot weather breaks 34 records in Alberta as wildfires rage

Click to play video: 'Edmonton weather forecast: Thursday, May 4, 2023'
Edmonton weather forecast: Thursday, May 4, 2023
Here's meteorologist Jesse Beyer's Thursday, May 4, 2023 evening weather forecast for Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding area – May 4, 2023

More than three dozen heat records were broken Thursday across much of Alberta, according to Environment Canada.

“A strong upper ridge continued to produce record breaking temperatures across a large portion of Alberta on Thursday that felt more like a mid-summer heat wave than mid-spring,” said Environment Canada.

The hottest place in Alberta was Fort McMurray, which reached 32.5 C – only half a degree cooler than the hottest place in the country, which was Lytton, B.C., at 33 C.

Click to play video: 'Convoy of Drayton Valley evacuees flee wildfire'
Convoy of Drayton Valley evacuees flee wildfire

The last time Fort McMurray got that hot was in 2016, when it reached almost 32 C and a fire tore through part of the municipality.

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Some areas saw a jump of up to 5 degrees – Slave Lake was 31 C, breaking a 90-year record of 25 C. The Red Earth Creek Area was 28.2 C, breaking a record of 23 C set in 2016.

In Edmonton, the new record is 30.8 C, breaking a record of 28.9 set in 2016.

Environment Canada said these records were preliminary.

There is still a heat warning in effect for the Fort McMurray-Fort MacKay area with temperatures set to reach 29 C Friday.

There is also an air quality warning in effect for northwest Alberta and much of central Alberta as dozens of wildfires burn across the province.

Temperatures are expected to cool slightly over the weekend before rising again.

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