This weekend is the first full weekend of summer and with it comes the first heat wave. Temperatures are forecasted to soar into the 30s with sunny skies all weekend.
Environment Canada issued a warning Friday morning that daytime high temperatures would reach the low- to mid-30s, with overnight lows staying in the high teens.
David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said this trend of hot, dry weather is expected to continue throughout the summer, making life great or terrible, depending on your perspective.
“It’s good beer-drinking weather, but hardly what farmers and growers would hope to have, and we don’t see that breaking down,” he said.
This hot, dry weekend continues a trend that began last winter. Temperatures have been relatively high, and precipitation levels have been extremely low.
With close to a week left in June and very little rain forecast for the prairie region, Phillips said it’s bad news for rain-dependant industries such as agriculture, water management, and firefighting.
“We can almost suggest what the precipitation totals will be, and it’s not good. We see this period of six months as being the driest in 68 years,” he said.
What’s worse is there’s little relief in sight. A high-pressure ridge sitting over the prairies, which doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, actually serves to deflect storm systems coming off the Pacific Ocean to the north and south, and then they converge over Eastern Canada, which is seeing an unusually wet spring and summer.
But while the weather is bad news for the agricultural produces that depend on wet springs and early summers to grow the grains for which this region is so famous, it’s good news for those who are looking to begin their summer vacation with some hot summer weather.
Keeping cool in St. Albert
For city residents looking to beat the heat, staying out of the sun is certainly one option but is by no means required.
Slather on the sunscreen and bring along a water bottle or two to the outdoor water fixtures around town.
The Woodlands Water Play Park at the corner of Boudreau and Sturgeon roads will be open all weekend from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It has more than 20 different spray features to help keep kids and families cool, as well as a snack shack that serves the usual ice-cold summer treats.
Another way to stay cool and enjoy the sunshine is to go for a swim at Grosvenor Outdoor Pool, which also has plenty of space for sunbathing or a poolside picnic.
For those who are looking to stay out of the sun, Servus Credit Union Place offers some indoor family-friendly events.
Kids can enjoy the indoor pool with a float down the lazy river or a trip down either of the waterslides. People can also keep active on the courts with badminton drop-in and family soccer running on Saturday and Sunday.