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Heat wave part of national trend

Danielle Sachs
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A quick drive down the Ingraham Trail Sunday showed boat launches and day use areas packed with cars and boat trailers.

NNSL photo/graphic

Julianne Fortin, left, and Harper Sateana-Barr, cool off at Long Lake beach Monday afternoon. - Danielle Sachs/NNSL photo

As temperatures reached a high of 27 C Sunday, compared to a seasonal average of 21 C, people were looking for ways to cool off. Monday was another hot day, with temperatures reaching 30 C, and high temperatures were expected to continue with a forecast of 30 C yesterday.

Ice cream and slushies were flying out the door at the Reddi-Mart, at 50 Street and 51 Avenue.

"We've been selling a lot of ice cream and water," said Phi Nguyen, who was working the ice cream counter Monday.

"Slushies too, anything that's cool."

All over western North America, including the territories, temperatures are higher than normal, according to David Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada.

"From Salt Lake City to Tuktoyaktuk, everyone is experiencing above-average temperatures," said Phillips.

"Not only is it hot, but the humidex is high."

Phillips said it's rare to see the humidex make a difference in Yellowknife.

"You're the windchill capital of Canada and it tends to be very dry," he said.

"When it gets this humid, it can be a health risk if you're not used to it."

According to the climatologist, when the wind dies down at night and if you're not used to the heat, it can be an uncomfortable night's sleep.

"Weather can have an effect on us psychologically," said Phillips.

"Productivity goes down because people don't sleep well and everyone's just miserable."

Temperatures are recorded in the shade, Phillips said, so when you have an area that gets a lot of sun, the weather can feel a lot hotter than what's forecast.

"The good news is it's a three-day wonder," said Phillips.

"From Wednesday to Sunday, temperatures should go down 6 or 7 degrees."

But the climatologist cautioned that summer is far from over, and it is expected to be warmer than average.

On Monday afternoon, the Long Lake beach area was steadily filling up. Eighteen-year-olds Harper Sateana-Barr and Julianne Fortin were planning on spending the day near the water.

"We've already been in the water and it's perfect," said Sateana-Barr.

The hottest day in Yellowknife, according to Environment Canada's records, was 32.5 C on July 16, 1989.

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