The sun becomes an orange ball due to wildfire smoke, SE Calgary, AB, 14 Aug 2018 (Dearing)
British Columbia is more than 4,000 kilometres away from New Brunswick but that hasn’t stopped forest fire smoke from making its way across Canada.
On Friday afternoon, Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement: A plume of smoke from fires in Western Canada is moving at high altitude across the Maritimes today causing hazy skies and a reddish sun.
This smoke is not expected to reach the surface or affect air quality in our region and the plume will move off to the east tonight.
The British Columbia Wildfire Service says more than 600 fires are burning in the province with many regions still under air quality advisories.
Thundershower as cold front sweeps Greater Moncton, 06 July 2018 (91.9 The Bend)
The passing of a cold front led to showers and thundershowers in Southeast New Brunswick today marking the end of hot, humid weather.
Environment Canada has noted Greater Moncton endured an official heat wave by definition with three straight days of at least 32°C.
The trio of record highs this week:
JULY 3rd : 31.6 C (new), 31.0 C (old record 1984)
JULY 4th : 33.4 C (new), 31.6 C (old record 2013)
JULY 5th : 34.2 C (new), 32.7 C (old record 2013)
The hotspot in New Brunswick on 05 July was a scorching 36.0 C at Miramichi and not far behind was 35.5 C at Kouchibouguac National Park.
As the heat subsides in Eastern Canada, hot weather is building in Western Canada with an impressive record high today of 39.3 C at Val Marie, Saskatchewan.
Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.
From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:
1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia
2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba
3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario
4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island
5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August
6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada
7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March
8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September
9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April
10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January
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.
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.
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.
The polar vortex has migrated much further south than usual bringing bitterly cold weather to much of Canada and the United States.
Temperatures have not been this cold in at least two decades and many records are expected to be broken over the next few days.
Many cities will experience unbearable cold with wind chills ranging from -50 in Western Canada to as low as -25 in the Southern United States.
The polar vortex typically sits near the North Pole and circulates a pool of cold, dense air in a counter-clockwise direction but an unusually southerly jetstream has carried it southward.