Canada is sweltering in a “dangerous” heat wave that has seen it record its highest ever temperature of 46.6C with the US also hit by the blistering conditions that are set to continue all week.
A “heat dome” which has the effect of static high pressure acting like a lid on a cooking pot is behind the unusually extreme heat in the US Pacific north-west.
Lytton In British Columbia registered the new high of 46.6C which broke an 84 year record it has been confirmed.
People in the US and Canada have been warned to take care due to the “dangerous” heat that will be around for the coming days and experts say is due to climate change causing more extreme weather.
Environment Canada said Alberta, and parts of Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, should also be prepared for the heat.
It warned a “prolonged, dangerous, and historic heatwave will persist through this week”, with temperatures up to 15C higher than normal in some places.
The high pressure zone is spread right the way from California to Canada’s Arctic territories and people have been doing what they can to keep cool with sales of air conditioners and fans skyrocketing.
Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips reportedly told CTV: “I like to break a record, but this is like shattering and pulverising them. It’s warmer in parts of western Canada than in Dubai.”
He said there was a chance of the temperature topping 47C, with Monday the likeliest day.
The previous highest temperature in Canada was set in the towns of Yellow Grass and Midale in Saskatchewan, in July, 1937, where the mercury reached a blistering 45C.
It comes as US National Weather Service are also expecting to set new records this week with Seattle (40C) and Portland (44C) already having registered their highest temperatures on Sunday.
It has even led to easing of Covid restrictions in some areas to give people access to facilities to keep them cool with Oregon opening swimming pools and certain air-conditioned areas.
In Salem, Oregon’s state capitol, temperatures reached 47.2C on Monday – the hottest since record-keeping began in the 1890s.
National Weather Service said. “To put it in perspective, today will likely go down in history as the hottest day ever recorded for places such as Seattle, WA and Portland, OR,” the National Weather Service said, predicting the heatwave could begin to ease on Tuesday.
Portland, known for its rainy weather and sparse sunshine, was especially ill-prepared to handle the high temperatures.
As temperatures spiked, stores sold out of air conditioning units and ice was hard to find.
Bars and restaurants closed because kitchen vents could not keep up with the rising temperatures, creating dangerous conditions for cooks.
In parts of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, authorities have opened 11 emergency “cooling shelters,” most of them in public libraries, where people without air conditioning could escape the