Calgary

'Potentially historic' heat wave to bear down on Calgary next week

The city is urging Calgarians to take caution for next week's heat wave, with forecasts showing temperatures climbing from the mid-20s on Friday to the 30s by Sunday.

Temperatures expected to climb into the 30s starting this weekend

Environment Canada forecasts a high of 36 C in Calgary on Wednesday. Average highs for this time of year are around 21 C. (Bert Savard/CBC)

The city is urging Calgarians to take caution for next week's heat wave, with forecasts showing temperatures climbing from the mid-20s on Friday to the 30s by Sunday.

Environment Canada forecasts a high of 36 C on Wednesday. Average highs for this time of year are around 21 C.

Kyle Fougère, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, called the temperatures "potentially historic," adding that several days next week will likely break temperature records.

"It could also break the all-time June maximum temperature record in Calgary of 35 C, which was set in 1926," Fougère said. "We may even threaten the all-time Calgary maximum temperature record, which is 36.5 C, which was set in August 2018.

"Not only will the magnitude of this event be potentially historic, the duration of the event will too."

Calgary has the potential of five or six days where the maximum temperature could reach or exceed 32 C. The last time Calgary had a stretch with five days of 32 C was in 1914.

"So this has the potential to be the most significant heat event that anyone living has experienced in the city of Calgary," Fougère said.

Heat-related illnesses

The high temperatures bring an accompanying risk of heat-related illnesses, particularly for those with underlying health conditions and for those people who are experiencing homelessness.

On Wednesday, the Mustard Seed posted on social media that it had an "urgent need" to replenish its bottled water supply.

The shelter said warm weather has resulted in a heightened need for bottled water for its clients, and anyone who wanted to donate could drop it off at the downtown location.

The Mustard Seed in Calgary sought urgent donations of water bottles for its guests with multiple hot days scheduled next week. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

Sue Henry, the head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said residents should drink plenty of water, avoid working or exercising in the heat and should dress appropriately for the weather.

"Remember, heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you experience any symptoms, like extreme nausea or lightheadedness, call 911 immediately," Henry said.

Henry said Enmax is anticipating that with the forecasted period of prolongued hot weather, Calgary may come close to its previous summer peak for energy consumption, which was 1,692 megawatts, reached in August of 2018.

The city will deploy water wagons to locations around the city to provide cold drinking water to Calgarians. Residents should bring a reusable water bottle to access the water wagons.

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