St. Albert ended a warmer and drier July than usual with a heat wave.
At the end of last week, Environment Canada issued two heat warnings for the area as temperatures were expected to get above 28 C for two days or more.
Natalie Hasell, warning and preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said hot temperatures rolled into the region last week with experts issuing a heat warning to help residents prepare and stay safe.
The month of July was a bit warmer than usual, with temperatures sitting at 19.6 C for the daily average, compared to the typical 17.7 C for the region. Last summer, however, was even warmer, Hasell said, with temperatures averaging 20.4 C.
So far this July, there have been slightly more days above 30 C than on average, with this summer clocking two days above 30 C, compared to an average of 1.4 days above 30.
Last summer, the mercury went above 30 C some seven times in the month.
Heat warnings are issued if there are two days where the temperature is expected to rise above 29 C, Hasell said, and if temperatures stay above 14 C overnight.
“Heat has a cumulative effect. It is really important to be able to cool down, and what happens if you're in a house that doesn't have air conditioning, the house warms up and will stay warmer than the outside temperature when it falls,” Hasell said.
“You need that temperature to fall low enough for the house to cool off, so that you get a bit of respite, a bit of a break from the heat,” Hasell said.
Hasell said those who are older, younger, pregnant, and work outdoors may be more susceptible to the heat. People who are low-income earners, who may not be able to afford air conditioning, may also be more at risk with the heat.
The expert recommends reaching out to those who might be vulnerable to check on them during heat waves to make sure they are feeling okay.
While the area has been warmer, it has been a drier July than normal, too, Hasell said.
The heat warning was issued on Wednesday July 27, with temperatures hitting a high of 28.6 C, followed by 32 C on Thursday. Friday, the mercury hit 28.4 C and by Saturday temperatures had cooled to 25.8, before dipping to a high of 20.3 on Sunday.
This week will be cooler in the region, with temperatures forecast to hit a high of 20 C on Wednesday, 18 C on Thursday, and 18 C on Friday. Temperatures are expected to warm up to 23 C on Saturday, and 26 C on Sunday.