Winnipeg, Manitoba — The most serious Canadian heat wave on record has been slightly mitigated, but this week seems to erase the high-temperature mark set decades ago, government climatologists said. I said on Wednesday.
In the Pacific coast of British Columbia, at least 233 people died between Friday and Monday, about 100 more than the four-day average, BC Coroners Service said.
Heat waves burned crops throughout the prairie, farmers cultivated much of the world’s wheat and canola, boosting natural gas prices for the world’s fourth-largest producer and increasing the risk of wildfires.
Litton, a town in central British Columbia, broke Canada’s highest temperature record three times this week. As of Tuesday, it is currently 49.6 ° C (121.28 ° F). Canada’s previous highest temperature, widely known for its cruel winters, was 45 ° C (113 ° F) set in Saskatchewan in 1937.
The heat dome, which stretches from California to the northern territories of Canada, weakens as it moves east, but is strong enough to set a record from Alberta to Manitoba, says the government agency Environment and Climate Change Canada. Said David Phillips, senior climatologist in the province.
“In some of these places, their records have been wiped out,” Phillips said. “It’s really spectacular and unprecedented for us.”
Fire season risk
Most of Alberta and most of British Columbia and Saskatchewan are at risk of wildfires, according to the Canadian Natural Resources Canada Fire Weather Map.
Mike Flanigan, a professor of wilderness fires at the University of Alberta, said the fire could spread throughout Western Canada next week, creating a vibrant fire season in the summer.
“All the ingredients are there,” he said. “It’s a powder barrel just looking for sparks.”
Canola futures soared this week as heat waves sought to reduce the harvest prospects for oil seeds used in the production of vegetable oils. Shane Paterson, director of trade and transportation at Paterson Grain, said high temperature forecasts in the coming weeks could lead to premature fall of crop flowers and reduced farm yields.
Prairie farmers are already dealing with one of the worst droughts in a few years.
Orchard migrant workers are particularly vulnerable, said Byron Cruz, defender of Sanctuary Health, an organization that supports migrants. Some people working in British Columbia greenhouses, where temperatures can be six degrees above outside temperatures, said they were fainted by the stuffy heat, but took a break to cool off for fear of not being rehired. Said he didn’t want to take.
Construction workers with unstable immigrant status who do not want to work in the heat are guaranteed to lose their income, he said.
According to Scotiabank, heat waves are also boosting demand for natural gas, pushing Alberta’s June spot prices to their highest in seven years. Natural gas is used to generate electricity.
By Rod Nickel and Anna Mehler Paperny