At Near 116 C, Heat in Western Canada Sets National Record


TORONTO – Vancouverites were frying eggs in pans on their terraces.

A man checked into an air-conditioned five-star hotel after five fans targeted his bed at home and the seventh cold shower did not bring relief.

Lettuce plants shriveled in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia’s picturesque wine region. The flowers have withered. People robbed.

heat wave across the west Canada It has much of a country known for sweater air perspiration.

Canada set a national heat record when the temperature dropped in a small town on Sunday. British Columbia It reached 116 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the 84-year record by nearly 3 degrees, and the dangerously hot weather is expected to continue for several more days.

“This is a complete shock to a Canadian. – it feels like Las Vegas or India – it’s not VancouverChris Johnson, a criminal attorney who went to an air-conditioned hotel room when the temperature inside his home reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, said.

Linking any weather event to climate change requires extensive attribution analysis, but heat wave Experts say it is becoming more frequent, longer lasting and more dangerous all over the world. David Phillips, a senior climatologist at Environment Canada, a government agency, said the early timing, intensity and duration of this could be attributed to rising global temperatures.

“It’s our grandparents’ heat waves, but it’s different now because of the human component,” said Mr. Phillips, referring to climate change and the well-documented effects of human behavior on the planet, such as carbon emissions.

Mr. Phillips pointed out the public health dangers of prolonging the heat during the night. “We know that nighttime temperatures are where people die from heat waves,” he said.

At a time when many Canadians are finally enjoying the summer amid the easing of coronavirus restrictions and newly opened restaurant terraces, beaches and parks, scorching temperatures have added another public health burden. Now, authorities must try to keep residents cool, both with relaxed rules.

Canadians are not alone in feeling overheated. The same high-pressure system that cooked the area also produced record-breaking heat in the area. northwestern United States, including 112 degrees in Portland, Ore on Sunday.

Emily Jubenvill, co-owner and manager of Enderberry Farm, an organic vegetable farm in the North Okanagan Valley, said she and her husband plan to beat the heat by going to the field at 3 a.m. Tuesday to pick vegetables. “Everything ripens faster under heat stress and so we can’t harvest as much,” he said, noting that the flavor of vegetables like lettuce can become extremely bitter when exposed to very hot weather.

Canada’s old national heat record was 45 degrees Celsius, or 113 degrees Fahrenheit, but on Sunday, Lytton, a town less than 300 degrees three hours east of Vancouver, reached 46.6 Celsius or 115.9 Fahrenheit according to Environment Canada.

Other towns in southern British Columbia, including Victoria, Kamloops and Kelowna, are breaking local records under a high-pressure heat dome, with temperatures of over 100 degrees expected through Wednesday.

Previously, Midale and Yellow Grass, both in rural Saskatchewan, held the record for the highest temperature in Canada with 113 degrees Celsius on July 5, 1937.

Climatologist Mr. Phillips said the “desert heat” of western Canada is similar to the temperature and humidity felt in Florida or the Gulf of Mexico, as opposed to the stifling “jungle heat” seen in the eastern parts of the country.

According to 2018 National Climate Assessment, a scientific report by 13 US federal agencies, heat wave Have climbed From two per year in the 1960s to six per year in 2010. heat wave It grew 45 days longer than it did in the 1960s, according to the report.

It’s all part of a general warming trend: The last seven years have been the hottest in the history of accurate record keeping worldwide, and 19 of the 20 warmest years have occurred since 2000. An analysis from the Copernicus Climate Change Service, a group of European climate researchers, Hottest year on record It was 2020, it was tied to 2016.

several school districts British Columbia It was closed on Monday as many buildings do not have air conditioning. Mr. Phillips said temperatures in Vancouver rarely rise above 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Hydro and Electric Authority of British Columbia, a state-owned utility company, saw record-breaking electricity use on Saturday and Sunday in succession, with some local power outages reported throughout the system, the Provincial Crown company said in a news release on Monday. .

On social media, people posted refreshing photos of their pets. ice bags, placing water trays for birds or avoiding the sun altogether.

In weather alert Environment Canada warned on Monday that temperatures for Metro Vancouver could reach as high as 44 degrees Celsius, or 111 degrees Fahrenheit, during the day.

“The duration of this heatwave is alarming as there is little relief at night as night temperatures rise,” he wrote, advising local residents to navigate “record-breaking heat” by drinking plenty of water and avoiding leaving people and pets indoors. parked vehicle.

Residents were also advised to watch out for hot symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, nausea and decreased urination.

Henry Fountain contributing reporting.


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