Manitoba hassled with hazy weather, but expect hot long weekend, meteorologist says

Click to play video: 'Hazy conditions can have health impacts'
Hazy conditions can have health impacts
The haze in the air from the Alberta wildfires can cause problems for those with compromized immune systems and it's not the only issue popping up this time of year. – May 15, 2023

The May long weekend is seen by many as the kickoff to a Manitoba summer, and based on the current forecast from Environment Canada, it’s looking like it’ll be a hot one.

Meteorologist Eric Dykes said Monday morning that southern Manitoba is sitting five to 10 degrees above normal, with an expected high of 29 C — and aside from the potential for a minor dip mid-week, the heat will stick around near the 30 C zone through the weekend.

Dykes told 680 CJOB’s The Start that this kind of heat isn’t unheard of for May, and although above-seasonal temperatures are called for, record highs for this time of year are well into the mid-30s.

“Save for that little blip … with that cold front coming through and bringing temperatures back to seasonal — perhaps with a chance of a shower mid-week — we go right back up into the long weekend into beautiful sunny skies,” he said.

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While the heat is welcome, the hazy conditions — due to smoke from more than 85 wildfires currently burning to the west in Alberta — aren’t quite so exciting.

Dykes said Environment Canada has already issued special air quality statements for some parts of Manitoba that are most affected.

“Some of that smoke will actually surface perhaps later on today and give some poor quality to areas like Flin Flon, The Pas, and Norway House north of the lakes,” Dykes said Monday.

Click to play video: 'Wildfire smoke can pose health hazards to those located far distances away'
Wildfire smoke can pose health hazards to those located far distances away

The presence of the smoke can wreak havoc on people with certain health conditions, said Neil Johnston, president and CEO of the Manitoba Lung Association.

“Particularly (affected are) people with asthma, other chronic lung diseases like COPD, people with heart ailments and other chronic diseases,” Johnston said.

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Even staying indoors could be an issue for some people who fare poorly with the smoke, and the key, he said, is to make sure your home has proper filtration.

“If you have a forced air furnace, make sure your filters are clean, replaced according to the instructions, and use the highest-filtration filter that your furnace will handle,” he said.

Johnston also said using air purifiers is a good way to combat the smoke.

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