PEI

Heat breaks on P.E.I. after more than 2 weeks

Longer heat waves on P.E.I. could become the norm with climate change, says CBC meteorologist Janine Baijnath-Rodino, as a 17-day hot spell finally comes to an end.

Late July, early August marked by baking days and sultry nights

It has been both hot and dry on P.E.I. this summer. (Submitted by Tara Shea)

Longer heat waves on P.E.I. could become the norm with climate change, says CBC meteorologist Janine Baijnath-Rodino​, as a 17-day hot spell finally comes to an end.

From July 23 to Aug. 8 Environment Canada issued a heat warning every day but one. After 17 days Prince Edward Islanders will be able to work a little easier during the day and rest a little easier at night.

The forecast is for the temperature to remain below 25 C until Sunday. Nights will also be cooler, with an overnight low of 13 C forecast for Friday.

"What is unusual is the long duration of the heat wave," said Baijnath-Rodino​.

"But that may become the norm in the future as climate change affects large-scale atmosphere and oceanic patterns that influence our regional weather."

In recent weeks, she said, a high-pressure system was pumping hot and humid air northwards toward the Maritimes.

While the heat wave was long, no daily heat records were broken, and the temperature never topped 30 C at Charlottetown Airport. The hottest day was Aug. 1, at 29.9 C.

There were, however, seven days that were warmer than the hottest day of 2017 (28.6 C on Sept. 26).

The daily maximum temperatures, averaging 27.7 C, were 4.0 C above normal, and the nights were particularly sweltering. Overnight lows averaged 19.2 C, 4.8 C above normal.

P.E.I. has seen hotter stretches of weather.

Heat waves are difficult to track, because there is no official definition. But some strings of record-breaking days in previous years point to some very hot weeks.

  • Aug. 2-12, 2001: Average daytime high 28.9 C.
  • July 27-31, 1949: Average daytime high 29.4 C.
  • July 24-29, 1921: Average daytime high 30.7 C.

While this heat wave was not as hot as those previous ones, it was six days longer than any of them.

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About the Author

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

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