Western Canada has been dealing with intense heat for a few days, and Manitoba is about to get a taste of the same, albeit somewhat cooler.

Areas in British Columbia have seen temperatures soar into the mid-40s. An all-time heat record for Canada was set in Lytton, B.C. two days in a row, with a high of 46.6 degrees recorded on Sunday, and 47 degrees on Monday.

Local Meteorologist Scott Kehler is the Chief Scientist at Weatherlogics. He says the previous record high temperature in Canada was set back in 1937.

“A lot of our really extreme temperature records come from the 1930's back in the dustbowl era. Really we haven't seen temperatures climb that high in many parts of Canada for almost 100 years and that is why we have to go back all the way to that 30's heatwave to see when the previous records were set.”

Kehler says we are seeing a lot of drought concerns across the prairies right now, but not to the level of the dust bowl era.

“What we are seeing is a pattern which is in some ways, not too dissimilar to the 30's where we have had many years in a row with hot and dry summers. Luckily due to better farming practices, we are not in exactly the same situation as the 1930's but from a weather point of view, there are definitely parallels.”

The core of the current heatwave is in eastern BC and Alberta, but Kehler says it is moving eastward.

“As the heat shifts even further east into Manitoba, it will moderate somewhat so I don't anticipate we are going to see temperatures widespread in the 40's like British Columbia has, however, we will certainly see highs climb well into the 30's later this week as that hot air moves into our region.”

Environment Canada is predicting daily high temperatures around 30 degrees here in the southeast early this week and will approach 37 degrees in some areas by late week. Heat warnings and watches are already popping up in some municipalities on the west side of the province.

Little to no reprieve from the heat is expected, as overnight lows will remain in the mid to upper teens.

Currently, the heatwave looks to persist through to the end of this week, possibly continuing into early next week.

Extreme heat affects everyone. Heat illnesses are preventable. To reduce the health effects of heat:

  • Plan outdoor activities during cooler times of the day and take into account the COVID 19 restrictions.
  • Take a cool shower or bath or take a break in a cool location, such as an air-conditioned building or a tree-shaded area.
  • Stay out of direct sunlight and wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella.
  • Drink plenty of water, before you feel thirsty and stay in a cool place. If you must go out, take water with you.
  • Keep your house cool. Block the sun out by closing curtains, blinds, and awnings during the day
  • Never leave people or pets in a parked vehicle.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbours. Check regularly on people living alone, especially older individuals or people with health conditions. Make sure they are cool and drinking water.
  • Watch for the effects of heat illness: swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, and the worsening of some health conditions.
  • Watch for signs of heatstroke (which may begin with headache, hot skin, dizziness or confusion) and take action immediately.