Crowded Bondi Beach during heat wave in Sydney, NSW, Australia, 07 Jan 2018 (European Pressphoto Agency)
A recent heat wave in Australia was so severe that asphalt melted on some highways, firefighters had to battle wildfires and bats fell out of trees after literally boiling to death.
The daytime high reached a scorching 47.3 C in a western suburb of Sydney on Sunday which was the hottest since 1939 and while Melbourne was cooler, the thermometer still climbed to 40 C.
Beaches were so crowded in Sydney, there was virtually no room to move around.
While it is the height of summer Down Under, the normal January high in the New South Wales capital city is 27 C with an overnight low of 20 C.
Sunset over San Francisco, CA, USA, 01 Sept 2017 (Twitter)
San Francisco rarely suffers from hot weather which is why many residents are struggling to stay cool during a heat wave since most homes don’t have air conditioners.
The U.S. National Weather Service says the thermometer climbed to an all-time record-breaking 41.1 C (106 F) on 01 September and another record of 38.9 C (102 F) was set the following day.
Those sizzling highs are a far cry from the average of 21 C for the northern California city.
Numerous wildfires in the region have produced smoke and haze which has added to air quality concerns.
The heat has also stretched northward to Oregon, Washington State and British Columbia where temperatures could exceed 30 C on Vancouver Island.
Temperatures across southern Europe have been so hot in recent days – climbing to more than 40 C in some areas – the heat wave has been called “Lucifer”.
Several deaths have been reported and severe weather warnings have been issued in Spain, France, Italy and the Balkan States.
Serbia’s capital Belgrade reached a scorching 39 C and train service in the southern part of the country was halted after rail tracks buckled in the extreme heat.
By contrast, northern Europe has been much cooler and wetter with the thermometer dropping as low as 4 C in the Scottish Highlands.
Cooling off in the Elbow River, SW Calgary, AB, 27 July 2017 (Postmedia/G. Young)
Environment Canada issued heat warnings for most of Alberta along with parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba this week in the wake of sizzling high temperatures.
The weather office says a daytime maximum of 30 C or higher could pose an elevated risk of heat-related illnesses and residents should avoid outdoor activities until cooler hours of the day.
Temperatures could climb to 33 C as far north as Thompson and almost 30 C in Churchill along the Hudson Bay coast.
Forecasters say the extreme heat will continue this weekend but a slight cool down is expected early next week.
Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)
The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.
Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.
A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.
The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.
Children play at a water park in Las Vegas, NV, USA, 20 June 2017 (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excessive heat warnings have been posted in parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico where record highs have been broken.
Las Vegas tied its record today of 47 C and Phoenix came close to its all-time high at 48 C.
Many flights have been delayed or cancelled since smaller jets can’t operate properly in dangerously hot conditions.
Temperatures have soared to 53 C in Death Valley, California which climbed to 56.7 C on 10 July 1913 – the hottest ever in North America.
Warm weather in Ontario heading to the Maritimes, 17 May 2017 (TWN)
A high pressure system is pushing warm, southerly air into the Maritimes with highs approaching 30 C tomorrow in New Brunswick.
Environment Canada says humidex values could climb to 39 which has led to a Level 1 Heat Alert for Fredericton and St. Stephen.
The provincial health department issues this alert when anyone vulnerable to the heat may be affected.
Greater Moncton could break a record on Thursday if the temperature reaches the forecast high of 28 C.
It’s now mid-August and I was starting to give up hope we would have a heat wave this summer in New Brunswick.
But low and behold, a Bermuda High and a favourable jet stream pushed the temperature in Greater Moncton to 31.8 Celsius today – the warmest so far in 2015.
The hotspots in the province today were at Bathurst, Fredericton and Kouchibouguac which all reached 33 C.
The heat continues for the next few days in the region.
Environment Canada officially defines a heat wave as three consecutive days with daytime highs of 32 C or higher.
The beach at Dorchester, NB, 11 August 2015 (Dearing)
The summer of 2015 so far in Southeast New Brunswick could be called pleasant with periods of rain and cloud thrown in for good measure.
But something has been missing this year – where’s the heat?
The last time the thermometer topped 30 C in Greater Moncton was back in the late spring when it topped that mark on 27 May.
A couple of times we have come close at 29 C but a heat wave of any sort has been noticeably absent.
Environment Canada is calling for a warming trend this weekend which could culminate in a high of 31 C on Monday.
Parlee Beach, NB, 22 March 2012
On this date in 2012, the thermometer soared to 26.1 C in Greater Moncton – the highest temperature ever in March with records dating back to 1871.
The previous two days were also unseasonably warm at 25.3 C and 21.0 C.
Those three days shattered the previous March record high of 18.9 C from 1945.
Fast forward to today, with an expected high of 4 C and a chance of light snow tonight.