Canada is creating record heat and closing provincial schools and universities

Pessoas em praia de British Columbia, no Canadá, durante onda de calor
People on a beach in British Columbia, Canada
Photo: CBC / CNN

British Columbia, Province CanadaIn a country known for its harsh winters and snowstorms, schools and universities closed on Monday (28) due to extreme heat that pushed temperatures to a national record over the weekend.

Lytton, the center of the province, 200 kilometers north of Vancouver, recorded a temperature of 46.6 of C on Sunday. Prior to the weekend, Canada’s record high temperature of 45 C was recorded in Saskatchewan in 1937, according to the Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Monday was predicted to be hotter as most of western Canada set local temperature records, with people seeking refuge on beaches and lakes. Social media posts with tips on how to stay cool without air conditioning have gone viral, according to a 2018 study by BC Hydro in a province where 40 percent of households have appliances.

In the Pacific Northwest, days of intense heat are unusual, it rains longer than sunlight, and it moves under a high-pressure system, according to Greg Flato Canada, senior research scientist on climate and climate change, Victoria.

“Daytime temperatures are very high, and at night they are not very cold, they are relatively still, and unlike normal weather events on the west coast, it reaches across the Pacific Ocean,” Flato said.

“It shows that the weather is changing. Science has been telling us for a long time, but we’ll have to sleep in the basement here because it’s really immersed in it – because it’s freezing – it highlights change.”

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