I just experienced my hottest day, ever. 38.5 C or 101.3 F in Calgary. Boy, am I glad that I installed air conditioning a few years ago.
Yesterday was my hottest day in 67 years. Calgary temperature hit 38.5 degrees Celsius, or 101.3 Fahrenheit. Fortunately, we have air conditioning in our house.
As the digits crept above 38, it slowly started to sink in that yesterday’s temperature might also be a personal record. I was born in England and spent my first six years there. No chance of this temperature in the UK. Since then, I have lived in the Canadian prairies – Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary, with a short spell in Regina. A few quick web searches could not find a day this hot in those locations during my tenure. It was pretty hot in Vietnam during our Asian cruise earlier this year, but not this hot.
So, there we go. This might be the hottest day I have or will have ever experienced.
Feeling compelled, I sat in the backyard next to the temperature sensor for a while. Stifling indeed, with no wind or even a breeze.
Now, I know lots of folks live in warmer climates than I do. Western Canada has hot summers and cold winters, but relatively low humidity. So, our Humidex is typically the same as the actual temperature. Places like Toronto would probably make my hottest day feel muggier.
Actually, temperatures could have been even higher this week if not for the amount of smoke in the atmosphere, which is resulting from nearby forest fires in Northern Alberta and British Columbia.
My Hottest Day – Is there a case for Extreme Weather?
We hear the term “extreme weather” in the media these days. The climate change folks have done a good job of casting warmer climate as “extreme”. Our weather office and health authority now issue “Heat Warnings” on a regular basis.
A few decades ago, we would have simply viewed my hottest day as, well, hot. No warnings, just use common sense. Today, it’s viewed as extreme and high risk.
No question that our climate in Western Canada is getting warmer, though. I am guessing that the number of annual days we really benefit from air conditioning might have doubled. We normally run the main floor air conditioning modestly. But we really benefit from the second floor bedroom A/C.
There was a time that folks in Calgary rarely installed air conditioning. Just open the windows at night and a nice breeze would cool the house. Not any more.