A ‘thermal dome’ over western Canada and the US Pacific Northwest, temperatures soared to new heights, prompting heat warnings from Oregon to the Canadian Arctic on Sunday.
More than 40 new temperature rises were recorded in British Columbia over the weekend, including in the Whistler ski area. The high pressure ridge trapping warm air in the region is expected to continue to break records throughout the week.
Environment Canada is issuing alerts for British Columbia, Alberta, parts of Saskatchewan, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.
The warnings stated that “a long, dangerous and historic heat wave will continue this week.”
“High afternoon temperatures will rise into the mid-30s today (Sunday) and peak around 40C (104F) by midweek in some areas.”
These temperatures are 10-15 degrees Celsius higher than normal.
To put climate extremes into perspective, we measure relative to the mean. Sigma is the standard deviation of the normal distribution of expected values. In this case, the maximum heat dome is 4.4 – which means it’s outside 99.99% of the expected values or a 1/10,000 + (1/2) chance pic.twitter.com/8raIMAngkg
– Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) 27 June 2021
The US Weather Service issued a similar warning of a “dangerous heat wave” that could see record temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in parts of Washington and Oregon.
“The historic heat wave will continue in the Northwest for most of next week, likely with many daily, monthly, and even historical records.” She said in a statement.
Monday is expected to be the hottest day in major cities like Seattle and Portland, with record highs likely in both cities.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was 45 °C (113 °F) in two cities in southeastern Saskatchewan on July 5, 1937. It was broken on June 27 as the current hotspot in Lytton, British Columbia – about 250 kilometers (155 miles) )) )) Northeast Vancouver – 46.1°C (114.98°F).
A severe heat wave is underway in the northwest and will intensify in the coming days.
– weathermodels.com (@weathermodels_) 26 June 2021
The expected temperatures in Sun-Mon via PacNW are so extreme that I think people are having a hard time putting it into context. There is still some uncertainty, but places along the I-5 corridor from Medford to Seattle have the potential to *smash* all records. #ORwx # Fabulous pic.twitter.com/W9yr7XXxLF
– Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) June 23, 2021
“I’d like to break a record, but it’s like breaking it,” David Phillips, chief climate scientist at Environment Canada, told CTV.
“It’s much warmer in parts of western Canada than in Dubai.”
The danger of wildfires is high and water levels in lakes and rivers are low.
Stores for air conditioners and portable fans have reportedly been sold out, while cities have opened emergency cooling centers and many fans have canceled COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Meanwhile, the British Columbia Electricity Utility said electricity demand rose to record levels as residents tried to stay calm.
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