Heat wave in the West

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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.

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Heat warnings issued in the West

Heat west

Weather watches, warnings, statements re: heat and thunderstorms, 08 July 2017 (Environment Canada)

A strong ridge of high pressure over Western Canada has pushed the thermometer into record high territory for British Columbia and Alberta.

On 07 July, dozens of communities set new maximum temperatures with the highest at 39.4 C in Warfield and 38.3 C in Nelson but the hot spot in Canada was Garden River in northern Alberta at 40.3 C.

The major cities were warm too with Calgary reaching 33 C and Edmonton 30 C.

Heat warnings have been issued for most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan where temperatures will be near 29 C or higher for the next few days and residents are urged to take precautions.

Record highs in the Maritimes

Outdoor thermometer in NE Moncton, 07 April 2017 (Dearing)


Astronomical spring officially arrived almost three weeks ago but it finally arrived in the Maritimes today with record highs throughout the region.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 17.3 C – the warmest high of 2017 – which surpassed the previous record of 15.6 C from 1962.

It hasn’t been this warm since 22 October when the thermometer reached 20.5 C.

The hot spot in New Brunswick was 17.7 C in Kouchibouguac, it reached 16.7 C in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island and 21.1 C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

The highest temperatures in Canada were found in Saskatchewan today with a high of 24 C in Regina.

Snowtober in Saskatchewan!

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Snow in Saskatoon, SK, 05 Oct 2016 (Twitter)


A storm being dubbed Snowtober – Snow in October – has dropped as much as 40 cm of snow on parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Saskatoon received about 20 cm of snow which broke a 100-year-old record yesterday of 5.6 cm while Cypress Hills Park got 40 cm.

Forecasters say the snow cover may stick around for a few days with single digit highs in the long range outlook.

The normal daytime high in Saskatoon for early October is 14 C.

Early spring heat in western Prairies

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Map shows temperature contrast with a front on the Prairies, 02 Apr 2016 (Twitter)

Unusually mild Pacific air has drifted into the western Prairie Provinces breaking record highs in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Some parts of southern Alberta reached 25 C yesterday and many cities either broke record highs or were close to breaking them.

Drumheller, AB set a new maximum of 24.4 C and Moose Jaw, SK reached a new record at 24.5 C.

The warm air didn’t reach Manitoba which is feeling the impact of the polar vortex which will sink over Eastern Canada this week.

Canada’s Top Ten of 2015

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Courtesy Environment Canada

1. Record Cold Winter in the East

For the second consecutive year, Canada’s top weather story was a long, cold, snowy winter from Ontario to the Maritimes.

2. Forests Blazing in the West

The wildfire season began early, ended late and was extremely active; 4,922 fires consumed an incredible 3.25 million hectares of woodland, four times the 25-year average.

3. Dry to Almost Disastrous in the West

Prairie farmers faced many challenges this year with killing frosts in May, spring and early summer dryness, and too many hailstorms.

4. Maritime Snowmaggedon

Maritimers endured brutal cold and had to dig out from record snowfalls. January, February and March were the coldest in 68 years.

5. Record Hot Dry Summer across B.C.

Persistently warm waters and a large high pressure area off the coast led to record-breaking warmth and even drought in British Columbia.

6. Stormy Summer on the Prairies

Severe summer weather events such as tornadoes, heavy rainfalls, strong winds and hailstorms numbered 307 across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba compared to an average of 234.

7. Groundhog Day Storm

The nasty nor’easter brought strong winds, poor visibility and a mix of messy precipitation from Ontario to Atlantic Canada.

8. B.C.’s Big August Blow

After heat, drought and massive wildfires, a dramatic shift in late August brought leftover fuel from tropical storm Kilo which was known more for its fierce winds than relief rains.

9. Maritime Valentine Storm, A White Juan-a-be

A powerful nor’easter charged the Maritimes on Valentine’s Day, with up to 80 cm of snow. Maritimers compared this storm with the infamous White Juan blizzard 11 years earlier.

10. January in July for St. John’s

Eastern Newfoundland had a cold July with an average high of 15.8°C, a new low record dating to 1942 and 10 degrees cooler than last year! Total July rainfall of 181 mm was the second wettest on record.

(List courtesy Environment Canada)

Smoke from B.C. forest fires invades Vancouver

Smoky sky over Vancouver, BC, 05 July 2015 (Vancouver Sun)

Smoky sky over Vancouver, BC, 05 July 2015 (Vancouver Sun)


Smoke from forest fires in southern British Columbia has led to an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the south coast.

Environment Canada along with several partners issued the advisory over the weekend and cautioned residents with medical conditions to stay indoors.

Meantime, smoke from forest fires in northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan has prompted air quality advisories across the Prairies as far south as Regina.

N.B. firefighters head to hot, dry Western Canada

Smoke from forest fires in Western Canada drifts south deep into the USA, 29 June 2015 (NASA)

Smoke from forest fires in Western Canada drifts south deep into the USA, 29 June 2015 (NASA)


Hundreds of forest fires are burning in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories thanks to recent warm, dry weather and smoke is being carried south well into the United States this week thanks to a big dip in the jet stream.

New Brunswick has sent at least 34 firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources to help out in Western Canada since the season to date here has been very quiet.

At least 5,000 people from several northern Saskatchewan communities have been evacuated due to the fires and the Red Cross says they are being housed at several shelters across the province.

Cool end to June in N.B.

Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 27 June 2015 (Dearing)

Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 27 June 2015 (Dearing)


June is ending the same way it began in New Brunswick – on a cool note.

While it was sunny and warm (near average at about 22 C) yesterday and a great day to enjoy Aboiteau Beach in Cap-Pele, today was mostly cloudy and cool (high teens C) in Greater Moncton with rain by evening.

Meantime, a heat wave in Western Canada has brought highs well into the 30’s peaking at 41 C in Warfield, BC, 38 C in Medicine Hat, AB and 36 C in Maple Creek, SK.

Canada’s Top Ten Weather Stories 2014

George Street in Fredericton, NB, 05 July 2014 (Twitter)

George Street in Fredericton, NB, 05 July 2014 (Twitter)

Each year Environment Canada compiles a list of the ten most significant weather events across the country and the following is how 2014 shaped up:

1. Canada’s Long Cold Winter – While much of the country shivered under cold and snowy conditions, Southeast New Brunswick was actually rainier and slightly warmer than normal.

2. Summer Flooding in the Eastern Prairies – Too much rain too fast over too many days led to extensive flooding in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

3. Wildfires in the West and Northwest – Exceptional warmth and dryness led to an abundance of wildfires in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

4. The Nightmare Before, During and After Christmas – A series of snow and ice storms in late 2013 and early 2014 left thousands without power for days from Ontario to Atlantic Canada.

5. Summer – Hot on Coasts, Cool in Centre – While British Columbia and Atlantic Canada enjoyed above normal temperatures, it never really got that hot or hazy in Ontario.

6. Hurricane Arthur – The first hurricane of the Atlantic season in early July packed a punch in the Maritimes with hundreds of trees toppling over on power lines leaving many in the dark for days.

7. Alberta Hailstorm – A series of thunderstorms in early August moved across Southern Alberta producing tennis to baseball-sized hailstones and covering the ground like snow.

8. Powerful December Storms on Coasts – Three storms in rapid succession battered the Pacific coast while an East Coast deluge delivered 150 mm of rain in Greater Moncton over two days and caused extensive flooding.

9. Ontario Tornadoes – The province recorded 19 this year with the worst twister in Angus near Barrie on 17 June which damaged more than 100 homes after peak wind gusts up to 220 km/h.

10. Snowtember in Alberta – The so-called snow event brought summer-like temperatures to a screeching halt on 07 September when upwards of 40 cm of snow fell on Calgary and region over the next three days.