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Saskatoon weather: It’s the first heat wave of 2024

Saskatoon weather: It’s the first heat wave of 2024
Saskatoon weather: It’s the first heat wave of 2024

Saskatchewan appears to be heading into its first heat wave of the year.

Given the cool spring and start to summer so far, this could come as a surprise to the system, and officials are urging the public to put safety first.

This week we’ll need to find ways to stay cool, and we’re not alone: ​​a heat wave has been declared for many parts of Western Canada.

“This is our first heat wave and we just need to be ready by drinking plenty of water, wearing appropriate clothing, staying cool and indoors, and checking in on family, friends and the elderly who may not have cooling in their homes,” said Brandon Bishop, Saskatoon’s emergency management coordinator.

The mercury could reach 33 degrees in Saskatoon on Thursday, 35 in Regina and possibly 36 in Moose Jaw.

When temperatures rise above 30 degrees for days on end, the City of Saskatoon activates its Extreme Heat Emergency Plan to protect residents.

“This lets our community partners know that the temperature is going to be too high for a number of days and that it’s going to be above a certain threshold, so we know what you need,” Bishop said.

According to Bishop, aid workers are distributing 5,000 bottles of water each week and the city has water stations.

Mist tents are also being set up, like the one currently set up near 20th Street and Avenue P, to provide relief from the heat. The city also has a full list of cool-down locations on its website, including spray parks and libraries.

“It’s just a place for people to go who are homeless or underhoused and have nowhere else to go,” he says.

During a press conference for media in Western Canada on Monday, Health Canada commented on the potential health risks of the ongoing heat.

“It’s the first heat wave, so some people may not be acclimatized to the health risks yet and others may not be in the habit of protecting themselves from the heat,” said Peter Berry of Health Canada.

Another important factor in the current situation is humidity, which is generally not a big factor in Saskatchewan.

“You have a moist air mass coming in and there is moisture from the vegetation that contributes to the moist environment, so that is going to be a limiting factor for the nighttime minimums. They can’t cool down when it’s that humid outside,” said Jennifer Smith of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Given these factors, Smith doesn’t rule out breaking temperature records this week in the southern parts of the province, closer to the U.S. border.

The city is advising people to monitor the elderly and vulnerable who do not have air conditioning this week to ensure they get the help they need to brave the heat.