Cooling off in Paris near Eiffel Tower, 25 July 2019 (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
The second summer heat wave gripping Europe peaked on Thursday with new all-time record highs set in several countries.
Paris climbed to a stifling 42.6 C breaking the French capital’s previous record high of 40.4 C from July 1947.
The temperature climbed above 40 C in the Netherlands at Gilzen-Rijen for the first time ever when it reached 40.7 C and Lingen, Germany set a new country record of 42.6 C.
Records were also set in Belgium (41.8 C) and Luxembourg (40.8 C).
The UK Met Office is verifying whether a high of 38.7 C at Cambridge is the warmest temperature ever for the United Kingdom.
The jet stream has carried hot air from northern Africa across western Europe which is shattering all-time record highs in numerous countries.
The second extreme heat wave this summer has set new maximums in Belgium at 38.9 C, the Netherlands at 39.2 C and Germany at 40.5 C.
Bordeaux, France reached 41.2 C on Tuesday which was its highest temperature ever.
Thanks to the urban heat island effect, major cities are more prone to hot weather than rural areas and don’t cool down that much overnight.
On Thursday, the UK Met Office believes Britain could smash its current historic high of 38.5 C recorded in Faversham in August 2003.
Saint John River at Perth-Andover, NB, 16 July 2019 (Dearing)
The next heat wave across Eastern Canada could be the warmest period yet this summer with daytime highs in the low 30’s C and humidex values near 40.
Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec have been blanketed with heat warnings from Environment Canada with hot, humid days and warm nights expected this weekend.
Temperatures in the Maritimes for Saturday and Sunday could reach 30 C but a cold front will bring cooler and drier air by Monday.
A mini heat wave already brought highs of 29 C and 30 C earlier this week in Greater Moncton.
Hot weather is rare for Anchorage which has reached an all-time high of 32°C (90°F) but in Alaska’s interior, heat is not unknown.
Fairbanks has previously topped out at 37°C (99°F) and the all-time Alaska state high was 38°C (100°F) in Fort Yukon from 1915.
Meteorologists say a strong high pressure system has been sitting stationary over the state creating the heat wave.
Smoke from wildfires has drifted into many communities creating air quality problems.
Neighbouring Yukon has also been affected by smoke with Whitehorse and Dawson City recording above normal temperatures in the high 20’s since late June.
A rare June heatwave has blasted Europe with record breaking warm temperatures in numerous countries.
France recorded its highest temperature ever on Friday near the southern city of Montpellier at 45.9°C.
The hottest day of the year in the United Kingdom was Saturday when London Heathrow reached 34°C.
Meteorologists say hot air from the Sahara Desert is responsible for the extreme heat which has claimed several lives, shut down schools and led to water restrictions.
Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic have all recorded their highest June temperatures ever.
After a hot and windy day across southern Manitoba, severe thunderstorms developed late Friday afternoon with heavy rain, hail and lightning strikes causing at least one grass fire.
Daytime highs soared to 36.6°C in Winnipeg and 37.3°C in Carman which was the hot spot in Canada.
Temperatures dropped dramatically after the storms rolled through and damaging winds up to 100 km/h were reported in some areas along with nickel-sized hail.
The heat and thunderstorms moved east into northwestern Ontario with Kenora reaching 33.0°C yesterday and Armstrong climbing to 32.3°C today.
Fall foliage along St George Boulevard, Moncton, 13 Oct 2018 (Dearing)
The brilliant fall foliage hues of red, orange and gold have reached their peak in Southeast New Brunswick.
Leaves have already begun falling to the ground and the season is already past peak across the northern part of the province.
Experts say the colours have peaked about a week later than usual thanks to a hot, dry summer which caused stress for leaves.
The drought was relatively short-lived with a plentiful amount of rain recorded so far this autumn.
Palm tree flourishing in the heat, SE Calgary, AB, 11 August 2018 (Dearing)
Calgary hit an all-time record high on Friday when the thermometer climbed to 36.5°C which eclipsed the previous record of 36.1°C set 85 years ago.
Environment Canada had issued heat warnings for more than 100 regions in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Besides the heat, smoke from forest fires have caused poor air quality throughout Western Canada.
A cold front lowered temperatures in Alberta to near seasonal values for the weekend but the heat lingered in the eastern Prairies.
Five Islands, Colchester County, NS, 24 July 2018 (Dearing)
July was definitely hot and often humid in Greater Moncton with Environment Canada confirming it was the warmest since 1940.
The average daily temperature was 21.4 C which is 2.6 degrees above normal.
An official heat wave in the first week was followed by numerous heat warnings being issued.
The thermometer climbed to 30 C or higher on 11 days during July and never dropped below 18 C during 7 overnights.
Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal and much of the precipitation fell during thunderstorms.
JULY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 27.8°C
Average LOW 14.8°C
AVERAGE 21.4°C (about 2.6 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 34.2°C (05 July)
Extreme LOW 8.7°C (13 July)
RAINFALL 63.0 mm (more than 30 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Wildfires burning in northern California, 29 July 2018 (Google Maps)
The largest of California’s wildfires has claimed five lives and destroyed more than 500 buildings near the city of Redding in the northern part of the state.
Fire officials say the blaze has grown in size to about 360 square kilometres thanks to hot, dry conditions and gusty winds.
Sparks from a vehicle ignited the fire on 23 July and now many of Redding’s 92,000 residents are on evacuation notice.
Further south, crews have made progress containing a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park but heavy smoke has closed the Yosemite Valley until next weekend.