Canada broke a national heat record on Sunday when the temperature in a small town in British Columbia reached almost 116 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking an 84-year-old record by nearly 3 degrees, with dangerously hot weather expected to continue for several more days.
The heat wave across western Canada has much of a country known for its sweater weather, sweating. The same high-pressure system baking the region has also produced record-breaking heat in the northwestern United States, including 112 degrees on Sunday in Portland, Ore.
The scorching temperatures will add another public health burden as the authorities contend with both easing coronavirus restrictions as more Canadians are vaccinated and trying to keep residents cool.
Canada’s old national heat record was 45 degrees Celsius, or 113 Fahrenheit, but on Sunday, Lytton, a town of fewer than 300 about three hours east of Vancouver, reached 46.6 Celsius, or 115.9 Fahrenheit, according to Environment Canada, a government agency.
Other towns in southern British Columbia, including Victoria, Kamloops and Kelowna, are breaking local records under the high-pressure heat dome, and temperatures well over 100 degrees are forecast through Wednesday.
Previously, Midale and Yellow Grass, both in rural Saskatchewan, held the record in Canada for the highest temperature on July 5, 1937, at 113 degrees.
Western Canada’s oppressive “desert heat” contrasts the sultry “jungle heat” seen in eastern parts of the country, akin to temperatures and humidity felt in Florida or the Gulf of Mexico, said David Phillips, a senior climatologist at Environment Canada.
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SOURCE: The New York Times, Vjosa Isai