June 21st, 2024

Record-breaking temperatures could be here

By Gillian Slade on August 9, 2018.

Paulette and Elinor Solberg cool down with some ice cream at Swirls. Temperatures in the Hat reached a high of 33C Wednesday, and are expected to climb even higher today.--NEWS PHOTO JEREMY APPEL


It is about to get even hotter in southeast Alberta with temperatures possibly reaching heights not experienced since the 1960s.

The forecasted temperature for Thursday is 39 C, and Environment Canada has predicted 40 C for Friday.

“The last time Medicine Hat got to 40C was back on Aug. 24, 1969. We’re talking here about almost 50 years ago,” said Dave Phillips, senior climatologist Environment Canada. “To reach 40 C come Friday is an amazing threshold.”

The highest recorded temperature in Medicine Hat in the month of August was 41.1 on Aug. 5, 1961, said Phillips. The hottest temperature recorded in Medicine Hat ever was 42.2 C on July 12, 1886.

Environment Canada’s records go back to 1883.

Normal temperature for this time of year is about 27 C, Phillips says.

“It’s like a dozen degrees warmer than it should be.”

The region could see as many as three records broken in the next few days.

The current record for Aug. 9 is 38.3 C, set back in 1932, while the mark for Aug. 10 was set in 1984 when the mercury reached 39.0.

The high for Saturday is 34 C — seven degrees above normal — but with Aug. 11’s highest temperature recorded at 36.1 C in both 1897 and 1967, that bar could be threatened as well.

Rain does appear in the forecast for Sunday, but the hefty temperatures are likely to continue.

“This is not the end of it,” Phillips said. “Our models continue to show that August and into September will be warmer than normal and drier than normal.

“What began in May continues in June, July and now August.”

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