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Calgary Weather: Heat warnings extended as 14 Alberta locations set new records Monday

Calgary Weather: Heat warnings extended as 14 Alberta locations set new records Monday

A strong ridge of high pressure over western Canada and the US has prompted heat warnings as dangerously high temperatures persist.

In Alberta, 14 locations on Monday reached new daily highs, including some that have been since the 1930s. And the warmest days are yet to come.

Daytime highs on Wednesday will peak at 34 C in Calgary and reach the high 30s in southern Alberta. With the humidex, it will feel even warmer across the region.

These temperatures pose significant health risks to vulnerable people, especially since the ambient temperatures are higher than what is considered normal body temperature. Finding ways to cool down and stay hydrated is essential – check on your neighbors and make sure animals follow the same protocols as humans.

This ridge moves slowly because the clockwise rotating high pressure area remains anchored to the ridge by counterclockwise rotating low pressure areas to its east and west.

A front is expected to break through Wednesday evening, potentially bringing severe thunderstorms — a less than ideal scenario for a region that is already very hot and dry.

This period of unusually warm weather has increased the risk of wildfires, resulting in most of Alberta having a high to extreme rating on the Fire Danger Relative Index (a rating that takes into account 1. How easily a wildfire could start, 2. How difficult it would be to extinguish the wildfire, and 3. How much damage a wildfire could cause).

Smoke from active wildfires also prompted air quality warnings as fine particulate matter hangs high in the air over northern Alberta and Saskatchewan.

As that ridge moves east on Thursday, showers are possible in southern Alberta and temperatures will drop slightly. However, another ridge is expected to move in early next week, bringing temperatures back into the 30s on Tuesday.