A special air quality statement has been issued for a number of regions across Alberta, in addition to the weather warning that remains in effect as the heatwave continues.
A heat warning, renewed by Environment Canada at 10:42 am on Tuesday, is in place province-wide.
“A prolonged, dangerous, and historic heat wave will persist through this week,” reads the Environment Canada website. “Afternoon high temperatures are in the mid to high 30’s today and will peak near 40ºC in some regions by midweek. The heat wave will continue into early next week for some regions.”
A severe thunderstorm warning is also in place for the Fort Chipewyan and Wood Buffalo National Park area.
The government agency issued an air quality statement on Monday evening, stating that stagnant weather conditions under a ridge of high pressure are causing pollutants at the surface to build up with time.
Individuals in the affected regions may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.
The special air quality statement is in effect for the areas of Airdrie, Cochrane, Olds, Sundre, Brooks, Strathmore, Vulcan, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Alberta, Sherwood Park, Drayton Valley, Devon, Rimbey, Pigeon Lake, Drumheller, Three Hills, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Red Water, Smoky Lake, Leduc, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Tofield, Okotoks, High River, Claresholm, Red Deer, Ponoka, Innisfail, Stettler, Spruce Grove, Morinville, Mayerthorpe, and Evansburg.
“Air quality is expected to be at its worst in the evenings while these hot and sunny conditions persist,” says Environment Canada.
Environment Canada advises Albertans to “be air aware” and know the best times to be active outdoors by using the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) to plan their day. The government agency suggests visiting airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce health risks and for current and forecast AQHI values.
Both Calgary and Edmonton are expected to reach a high of 36ºC on Tuesday as the weather warning continues.
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The heat has resulted in an increased demand for electricity to keep all of those fans and air conditioner units running.
Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) recorded a new summer peak of 11,512-megawatts on Monday.
Yesterday evening a new summer peak was recorded at 11,512 MW. We are forecasting that record to be broken again today.
Please conserve electricity today where and when you can! #ABElectricity
— AESO (@theAESO) June 29, 2021
Previously, the highest summer peak for electricity demand was 10,822-megawatts on August 2, 2019. AESO expects the record to be broken again on Tuesday.