“The heat dome” over western Canada and the Pacific Northwest U.S. has caused temperatures to spike to new highs, prompting heat warnings Sunday from Oregon to Canada’s Arctic territories.
More than 40 new temperature highs were recorded over the weekend in British Columbia, including in the ski resort town of Whistler. The high-pressure ridge keeping warm air in the region is expected to continue to break records throughout the week.
Environment Canada has issued a warning for British Columbia, Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
“A prolonged, dangerous and historic heat wave will continue throughout this week,” the warning reads.
“Afternoon high temperatures will rise to mid-30s levels today (Sunday) and will peak around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in some regions by midweek.
These temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees Celsius above normal.
The U.S. National Weather Service issued a similar warning about a “dangerous heat wave” in which record temperatures could rise to more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in parts of Washington and Oregon.
“The historic heat wave in the Northwest will continue for much of the coming week, with multiple daily, monthly and even absolute records likely to be set,” the statement said.
Monday is expected to be the hottest day on record in major cities such as Seattle and Portland, both of which could see record-breaking temperatures.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was 45 °C (113 °F) in two cities in southeast Saskatchewan on July 5, 1937. This record was broken on June 27, when temperatures reached 46.1 °C (114.98 °F) in the current hot spot of Lytton, British Columbia-about 250 km (155 miles) northeast of Vancouver.
Some areas of western Canada are warmer than Dubai. The risk of wildfires is elevated, and water levels in lakes and rivers are down.
It is reported that portable air conditioners and fans are sold out in stores, emergency cooling centers are open in cities, and COVID-19 vaccination sites are closed.
The B.C. Power Company, meanwhile, said demand for electricity has soared to record levels as residents try to stay cool.