Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Record Breaking Heat in the Great White North

Image credit: The Weather Channel
We have seen heat records broken across Canada in the first half of 2019. Extreme heat has been present from the west coast to the east coast and the far north. The start of spring 2019 smashed 79 Canadian heat records including an all time record for Yoho Lake in the Northwest Territories. Environment Canada pointed to anomalies in the jet stream and said this kind of widespread heat in March hasn’t been seen in a quarter century.

In June Victoria shattered a 121-year-old heat record and Kelowna broke a 145-year-old temperature record in BC. All together Surging temperatures broke a total of 20 heat records in southern BC.

In July most of Eastern Canada was suffering from extreme heat and in the Maritimes this heat wave broke records. Moncton, Fredericton and Halifax all broke records. PEI also smashed a heat record. Even Nunavut, the world's most northerly community, is experiencing a record-breaking heat wave.

As reported by CBC, records have been falling by large margins. "That's what we're seeing more often," said David Phillips, Environment Canada's chief climatologist. "It's not just half a degree or a 10th of a millimeter. It's like hitting a ball out of the ballpark. It is so different than what the previous record was...It's really quite spectacular, This is unprecedented." Phillips said the models predict that there is more to come. More is to come.

Phillips also suggests the record heat may be related to anomalies in the jet stream. "With temperatures you've never seen before, you can't dismiss it as not having a climate change component," Philips said. Although individual weather recordings should not be confused with climate, decades of hot data are making an irrefutable case for a warming world.

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