Lytton, B.C., is on quite the roll, completing the trifecta of breaking new temperature records for Canada's hottest temperature ever.
On Tuesday, for a third day in a row, the British Columbia community recorded the country's highest temperature on record -- hitting 49.6°C Tuesday, surpassing its previous records of 47.9°C on Monday and 46.6°C set on Sunday.
Each record was broken less than 24 hours after the previous one. The first of the new Canadian temperature records that was established on Sunday, beat its predecessor that previously stood for about 83 years.
This comes amid the extreme and potentially life-threatening heat wave in Western Canada, which is setting new all-time, monthly, and daily records at a rapid pace – with more set in Alberta on Tuesday.
A phenomenon known as a heat dome, something more common to the southwestern U.S, is the cause of this extreme heat. It is defined as an area of intense high pressure, beneath which descending air compresses into layers near the surface, warming drastically as it does so.
British Columbia was where the heat was most extreme, resulting in dozens of deaths. Numerous communities have opened cooling centres and initiated other measures to warn the public of the extreme temperatures.
HEAT SHATTERING NATIONAL, ALL-TIME AND MONTHLY RECORDS
National record: Lytton, B.C. (49.6°C)
Monthly records: Lytton, B.C. (49.6°C), Pemberton, B.C. (40.3°C), Abbotsford, B.C. (42.9°C), Hope, B.C. (39.5°C), Squamish, B.C. (39°C), Victoria airport, B.C. (39.4°C), Grande Prairie, Alta. (41.5°C), Yellow Grass, Sask. (45.0·C), Midale, Sask. (45.0°C), Hendrickson Creek, Alta. (35.7°C), Jasper, Alta. (41.1°C)
All-time records: Pemberton, B.C (40.3°C), Abbotsford, B.C (42.9°C), Hope, B.C (39.5°C), Squamish, B.C (39°C), Yellow Grass, Sask. (45.0·C), Midale, Sask. (45.0°C), Hendrickson Creek, Alta. (35.7°C), Victoria airport, B.C. (39.4°C), Grande Prairie, Alta. (41.5°C), Jasper, Alta. (41.1°C), Banff, Alta. (37.8°C), Beaverlodge, Alta. (40.7°C), Bow Valley Provincial Park, Alta. (38.1°C), Cochrane, Alta.(35.0°C), Edmonton, Alta. (37.2°C) Nordegg, Alta. (34.8°C), Red Earth Creek, Alta. (36.3°C), Agassiz, B.C. (41.4°C), Kamloops, B.C. (47.3°C), Kelowna, B.C. (45.2°C)
As well, the Fraser Valley reached a temperature above 40°C on Saturday — the first time in history.
WHY DID RECORD HEAT HAPPEN IN LYTTON, B.C.?
Because the heat wave is still ongoing, more records are likely to be established or changed with the hot temperatures moving east into Alberta.
The extreme heat has also reached the Northwest Territories, where Nahanni Butte (Yohin) hit a new all-time high temperature of 38.1°C. Several other locales recorded new daily highs Sunday.
HEAT TAKING TOLL ON POWER
Power grids are taking significant hits and a lack of rain in the forecast means the fire danger is on the rise. In fact, BC Hydro reported a new record for peak hourly demand amid the high temperatures.
As well, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 1 on Tuesday because of the strain on the power grids.