Edmonton

'California air' brings record heat to Edmonton

Hot desert air blowing up from the southern United States led to record-breaking temperatures on Monday in Edmonton.

'This is desert air ... that is just giving us a taste of what the dog days of summer would look like'

Edmontonians were peeling off their jackets and boots to enjoy a rare April heatwave. (Canadian Press)

Hot desert air blowing up from the southern United States led to record-breaking temperatures on Monday in Edmonton.

Temperatures in the city soared to 26.2°C at 6 p.m., officially breaking a 106-year-old record from 1910, when the city hit 25°C.

But rewind to this date two years ago and Edmonton was getting hammered by an icy spring blizzard, which buried the region in five centimetres of snow, and left roads dangerously slick.

"Clearly, this a California air," Dave Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said during a Tuesday interview on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

Normally, the average daytime temperature in Edmonton in mid-April is around 13°C.

But an arid weather system moving through Alberta has created the unseasonable hot spell.

"A big high-pressure area is just pumping all this in," Phillips said. "This is not Pacific air, this is desert air that is just bringing it northward and giving us a taste of what the dog days of summer would look like."

Record temperatures hit Edmonton

6 years ago
Duration 0:37
Temperatures in Edmonton soared to 26.2°C on Monday, officially breaking a record from 1910 when the city hit 25°C. Rewind to this date last year, and Edmonton was getting hammered with a spring blizzard.
 

Edmonton wasn't the only city feeling the heat. As of Monday evening, temperature records had been broken in nearly 30 other communities across  Alberta, including Fort McMurray, Red Deer and Grande Prairie.

But don't put on your boots and coats on ice just yet, warned Phillips.

"It's not time to bring out the muscle shirts and tank tops, and think that's it, spring has arrived and there is no going back. This is a bit of a heat bubble, and it's going to burst."

There has never been a year where Edmonton didn't have frost sometime after April 19, and only seven years on record where snow failed to make appearance after that date.

"I wouldn't necessarily count out a return to some sort of coolish weather. But this April heat wave has been well-received for sure."

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