Record heat forces western Canadian province to close schools, universities


VANCOUVER, June 28 (Reuters) – British Columbia closed schools and universities on Monday due to extreme heat that pushed the temperature in the western province of Canada to a national record over the weekend. end, in a country widely known for its harsh winter and snow.

Lytton, a town in central British Columbia about 200 km (124 miles) north of Vancouver, reported a temperature of 46.6 ° C (115.88 ° F) on Sunday. Prior to the weekend, Canada’s historic high was 45 ° C, established in Saskatchewan in 1937, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Monday is expected to be even warmer, as much of western Canada set local temperature records, causing people to take refuge on beaches and lakes. Social media posts with tips for staying cool without an air conditioner have gone viral in a province where less than 40% of homes are air conditioned, according to a 2018 BC Hydro study.

The high and sustained heat is unusual in the Pacific Northwest, which is more accustomed to long periods of rain than sunshine, and is caused by a high pressure system that does not move, said Greg Flato, senior researcher. à Environment and climate change. Canada based in Victoria.

“The temperatures get very hot during the day, they don’t cool down much of the night, and they stay relatively stationary, unlike the usual type of weather events here on the West Coast… which cross the Pacific (Ocean) and us. overwhelm, ”Flato said.

“It makes it clear that the climate is changing. Science has been telling us that for a long time, but to be really immersed in it, because we’re here and having to sleep in the basement to stay cool – it really brings us back. at home. “

Canola futures hit daily price limits on Monday, fueled by a heat wave and dry weather on the Canadian prairies.

Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Aurora Ellis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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