Western Canada’s heat dome may be Ontario bound. A climate expert explains what’s next

Western Canada’s record-breaking warmth wave is predicted to linger for just a few extra days earlier than migrating eastbound.

Yesterday, Lytton, B.C.’s temperature reached 47.9 C – an all-time excessive that beat the city’s 46.6 C temperature the day earlier than, which was the most well liked ever recorded temperature in Canada since Saskatchewan hit 45 C in 1937.

As compared, Atmosphere Canada issued a warmth warning for Toronto on Tuesday, temperatures had been anticipated to succeed in 31 C within the afternoon with humidex values round 40. That’s nearly 15 levels cooler than what Western Canada is experiencing.

“It’s excessive, it’s unhealthy, it’s traditionally unprecedented and it’s not going away,” mentioned David Phillips, senior climatologist for Atmosphere and Local weather Change Canada.

The rationale why Western Canada is experiencing unparalleled warmth is as a result of it’s underneath a warmth dome. A warmth dome is when an space turns into so highly-pressurized that it doesn’t permit air to flee, it simply recirculates and will get squeezed collectively. This causes air molecules to hit one another quickly, thus creating extra warmth.

“It’s like taking the Rogers Centre and placing it over a bit of geography stretching from the Arctic Circle to Demise Valley,” Phillips mentioned.

The warmth dome will persist within the West for just a few extra days earlier than ultimately migrating eastward. The dome might journey so far as Northern Ontario, however Phillips doesn’t suppose will probably be as sturdy as it’s whereas it looms over the West, nor will it affect Toronto.

“The dynamics of it adjustments after a number of days and it received’t be the power (by early July) because it was on the finish of June,” Phillips mentioned.

Issues would possibly worsen earlier than they get higher. Due to the dearth of moisture, Western Canada may see extra forest fires brought on by dry lightning. The realm may be extra inclined to floods as the warmth melts snow off the highest of mountains. There’s additionally an opportunity that hospital admissions will go up on account of the warmth dome.

“It received’t be dying by heatwave, it by no means is. It will likely be by respiratory failure or cardiovascular failure,” Phillips mentioned. “But it surely actually can weaken folks to make them extra inclined to different illnesses.”

Phillips says that Canadians shouldn’t be stunned; temperatures have risen yearly for years. This is similar heatwave that’s hit the nation up to now, however with a brand new persona supercharged by local weather change.

“Local weather change has not created waves or hurricanes or forest fires. But it surely contributes to it,” Phillips mentioned. “We generally take into consideration local weather change as being the steroids for climate, it makes the extremes extra excessive.”

Phillip says that there isn’t a lot we will do to transform the course of our rising temperatures. Nevertheless, acknowledging that heatwaves, forest fires and floods are going to be extra commonplace and making ready for them is an efficient begin.

“We have to study and do issues in another way to respect nature,” Phillips mentioned. “The lesson popping out of that is to not simply suppose that we will repair or engineer our approach out of it in profound methods. No, we have to dwell in live performance with nature.”



Local weather actions like reducing again on fossil fuels might not cease world temperatures from rising, however Phillips says it may purchase us extra time. In the end, Phillips says the nation’s infrastructures, insurance policies and methods have to adapt to accommodate for an inevitably hotter future.

“The most secure forecast of all is: keep tuned, count on extra of the identical. It could have totally different sorts of parts to it,” Phillips mentioned. “That is the longer term.”


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