More than a dozen Alberta heat records broken Monday

More than a dozen Alberta heat records broken Monday
More than a dozen Alberta heat records broken Monday

At least 14 heat records were broken in Alberta on Monday, as a scorching heat wave brought high temperatures during the day and little relief at night.

“You don’t get that relief overnight, you can’t really cool down and that’s why we’ve issued these heat warnings, because it’s causing problems for hospitals and health centres, where they’re seeing an increase in people coming in with heat-related illnesses,” explains Marianna Greenhough of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

She says the scorching summer heat will continue for most of the week, with only a little relief on Friday.

“We’re probably going to see these marginal record breaks over the next few days, by half a degree or maybe a degree here and there,” Greenhough added.

The timing of this heat wave may leave you feeling a little grumpy, especially if you’re heading to the Stampede festivities.

The crowds, long lines and heat cause people to seek relief wherever and whenever they can find it.

“It’s pretty hot, but luckily the trains have a little bit of air conditioning, it’s not too bad, so it gives you a little bit of relief. You have to be careful where you’re going, be aware, try to stay in the shade. That’s what we try to do,” one attendee told CityNews.

“Drinking lots of water (and) if we run out of water, have a refreshing lemonade at the Stampede,” said another. “Staying in the shade as much as possible, and I know a lot of people are wearing cowboy hats too, that helps a lot.”

Kerrie Blizard, director of public safety for the Stampede, advises people to take extra precautions.

“We encourage our guests to wear sunscreen, a hat and light clothing,” she said. “Public safety remains our priority.”

For those heading to the site on Tuesday, there are air-conditioned buildings: the recently expanded BMO Centre and the Nutrien Centre both have water stations and air conditioning, ideal places for participants to take a break from the heat.

During periods of extreme heat, ECCC advises moving outdoor activities to cooler times of the day, taking frequent breaks from the heat, and checking that children or pets are okay before getting out of the car.

Calgary residents should watch for symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, such as high body temperature, lack of sweating, confusion, fainting and unconsciousness.

“People need to be diligent about heat,” Greenhough said. “I know we’ve been waiting a long time for some heat in Alberta, it seems like summer has been delayed a little bit, but heat is something you don’t want to mess with.”

According to ECCC, attention should be paid to babies, children, the elderly and those with pre-existing lung, heart, kidney, nervous system, mental health problems or diabetes, those who work outdoors and those who are socially isolated, as they may be more likely or more severely affected by the heat.