Nearly all of Manitoba under extreme heat warning as dome of hot weather moves east
Seasonal temperatures resume on Sunday into Monday: Environment Canada
Manitoba continued to roast on Friday as a dome of intense heat moves east across the Prairies. The City of Winnipeg and organizations working with people at risk in Winnipeg are taking steps to help provide some respite from the heat.
All of the province, except the Churchill and York areas near Hudson Bay, remains under an extreme heat warning, after some northern communities shattered heat records on Canada Day.
Temperatures hoverd in the mid-30s in many parts of Manitoba Friday afternoon, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada, and overnight lows are expected to remain in the upper teens or low 20s.
The dangerous heat will stay in place through Saturday, before a north to south shift toward seasonal temperatures on Sunday into Monday, the weather agency says.
Heat has baked the province, and the Prairie region as a whole, for the last week.
In northern Manitoba, Lynn Lake reached a sweltering 38 C on Thursday, far higher than its previous record of 30.4 C set in 1981, Environment Canada said.
Several other records were matched or broken on Thursday, according to Environment Canada.
Churchill hit 34 C on Thursday, breaking the record of 31.1 set in 1976. Just a bit south, Thompson set a new record with 34.7 C, up from 33.1 C in 1989.
Steinbach's new record is 30.9 C, just slightly over its old one of 30 set in 1989. Swan River also broke its old record from 1981 by just a fraction of a degree with 33.4 C; its record was 33 C, set in 1981. Gillam matched its record from 1989 with 34.4 C.
The weather agency warns Manitobans to watch for heat-related illnesses and to stay out of direct sunlight, drink plenty of water and seek out shade or air conditioning.
Cooling stations open
The City of Winnipeg and community groups have opened cooling stations and are providing water.
Anishiative, Main Street Project and CommUnity 204 opened up a centre this week at 44 Martha St.
"The community has been a huge help so far," said River Nepinak-Fontaine, who helped organize the effort.
"It actually gave me a tear to my eye, seeing how much our community stepped up and came to bring us water, bring us sunscreen, bring anything that we can to help out as much people as we can."
Nepinak-Fontaine said volunteers set up tents, lit a sacred fire and offered to smudge anyone who passes through. People can also get food, water and other supplies.
"They need help as much as they can," he said about people in need.
"I had somebody come through without shoes yesterday and I made it my mission that day to get them a pair of shoes."
The city has opened up the main floor of city hall as a cooling centre and set up a tent with water in Central Park.
Emergency management co-ordinator Lisa Gilmour said the city hall site is important for the area.
"We tried to look at areas where we know there's not a lot open right now," she said. There are people in the area who have no access to any other space to cool off, she said.
Gilmour said the city has also partnered with several community centres in Winnipeg to act as neighbourhood cooling sites. They include Westdale Community Centre, Valley Gardens Community Club, South Transcona Community Centre and Norberry-Glenlee Community Centre, the city said.
It's also deployed drinking water tanks to the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, Spence Neighbourhood Association, the Salvation Army on Henry Avenue and Bear Clan Patrol's headquarters on Selkirk Avenue.
All libraries will also have bottled water available during regular hours, the city said.
Winnipeggers sizzling but strategizing
Spray bottles, spray pads and seeking shade — these are among the heat-busting solutions people young and older in Winnipeg were using to try and stay cool Friday.
"I've been getting really burned — it's too hot for me," said Savannah Hogue, 9. She chose to get cool at a city spray pad on Friday, but said she'd been out to swim at Birds Hill Park and Winnipeg Beach in recent days.
Fred Cameron spritzed a spray bottle of water into the air to show how he manages.
"That's about it. [I] try to avoid the sun rays at all times."
Roommates Gemma Martinez and Tijana Alouska said they'd spend most of their time in the shade in a park near their Corydon-area apartment — one without air conditioning.
Neither could remember it being so hot in Winnipeg before. Each said despite that, they were still going to venture out to a city skate park, one with a city-provided fresh water tank.
Cameron joked he had a solution for Saturday, when the mercury is expected to rise even higher.
"I'm just going to strip down to nothing," he laughed. "It's going to be a hot one."