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“Unprecedented” heat for Alberta; very hot conditions expected for several days

LETHBRIDGE, AB – Old heat records are falling fast a furious across western Canada with a heatwave, like no other this country has every experienced.

Temperatures are soaring to “unprecedented” levels and shattering records that have stood for decades.

Environment Canada’s Janelle Gergley says the dangerous heat will peak around Canada Day around here, however she warns it will remain very hot for several days after.

“We’re seeing 32°C or warmer for Lethbridge right through until at least July 9th,” says Gergley. “Even after that it’s a slight cool down if anything, so this is a very long heat event and that blocking pattern is here to stay.”

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That slight cool down she refers to is around 29°C or 30°C. So not much relief.

Why is getting so hot and this early in summer? Well, that’s a good question. Gergley says something recently happened in the Southern Hemisphere.

“This is unprecedented and when we stay historic, it is! For many cities this is a one in a hundred year event. It’s something that’s happening in the Indian Ocean that caused the (heat) event here, so it’s a very complex reasoning as to why this is happening,” stated Gergley.

Lethbridge hit a new record high on Monday when the mercury topped out at more than 35°C, beating the old record for June 28 of 33.4°C which was set back in 1985. Several other communities across southern Alberta also set new temperature records on Monday and that will likely be a daily trend as the week goes on.

Environment Canada warns the duration and magnitude of this heat event will lead to increased risk of heat-related illness.

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– Consider rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day.
– Take frequent breaks from the heat, spending time in cooled indoor spaces where possible.
– Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.
– Check for your children or pets before you exit your vehicle. Do not leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle, for any length of time.

Monitor for symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, such as high body temperature, lack of sweat, confusion, fainting, and unconsciousness.

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