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Heat wave hangs over city

The mercury reached 30-plus C this week and prompted a heat warning from Environment and Climate Change Canada, but the temperatures aren't unusual for this season.
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Markus Baeta, 9, right, blasts little brother Lukas, 7, at the city's splash park on a blistering Monday afternoon. Environment Canada has issued a heat advisory for the St. Albert area, with temperatures expected to stay in the high 20s all week. CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

A heat wave rolled into town this past week, and is probably going to be hanging around for the August long weekend.

On Monday, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a heat warning for St. Albert and much of Alberta as temperatures were expected to hit 29 C or higher for at least two days.

Tuesday temperatures topped out at 31C and it is predicted that on Wednesday the high will hit 29 C with overnight rain showers. On Thursday, the weather is predicted to hit a high of 25 C.

Dan Kulak, meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, said the weather is warmer than the seasonal average, but it is not unusual.

“If you're going to get a warm stretch of weather, it's probably going to be late July or early August,” Kulak said.

“We are not breaking any records.”

Kulak said temperatures typically peak this time of year and begin to drop off as we get less sunlight in the area.

“Looking at the curve of temperatures, the peak is now basically in the last few days of July. And then after that, it just drops straight off, dropping off throughout the end of August,” Kulak said.

Kulak said July is always the wettest and hottest month of the year in Edmonton.

So far this year, the summer has been around 25 per cent more wet than the average, with June measuring 105 mm of rainfall, while the average sits at 77 mm. In July so far, we have had 121.2 mm of rainfall while the average is around 94 mm. Rain fell on 17 out of the month's 28 days so far.

June has an average temperature of 15.5 C, and this year the Edmonton region hit that average. The average temperature in July is usually 17.7 C, and so far this year the region clocked in at 17.5 C.

In August, typically the mercury hits around 16.9 C as an average for the entire month.

While the region is experiencing these hot days, Kulak said thunderstorm season is still in session and residents can expect thunder and lightning to roar regularly until halfway through August, when the storms will slow down.

Looking ahead to the fall and winter, Kulak said there are some predictions for a La Nina winter, which means in Western Canada we will experience more snow and cold temperatures, but Kulak said those predictions could change as we get closer to the winter.

Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Newspapers based in St. Albert, Alta.
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