Heat warnings cover much of Manitoba as humidity expected to make it feel like 40

The stifling heat in the western provinces is now covering most of Manitoba, prompting warnings from Environment Canada.

Highs of 32 C are forecast throughout the southern and central sections of the province for Thursday and Friday, with the humidity making it feel closer to 40, the weather agency warns.

Little relief is expected overnight, with lows around 20 C or warmer.

Temperatures will moderate by the end of the week in the central region, while the south should see a slight reprieve beginning late Friday and into the weekend, with temperatures just under 30 C, in the high 20s.

In Winnipeg, city leisure centres and libraries are being offered as cooling spaces, with access to drinking water during regular operating hours.

The city’s indoor pools and outdoor spray pads are also open, and six community centres are opening their doors during certain hours as heat relief sites, the city said in a news release on Wednesday.

A full list can be found on the city’s website

Winnipeg also runs a network of hydration stations, with eight in the downtown core and inner city, offering free, clean drinking water. 

A fire hydrant is seen connected to a blue water drinking station.
Winnipeg’s hydration stations are connected to fire hydrants for a continuous supply of clean, cold drinking water. (City of Winnipeg)

Extreme heat can affect everyone’s health but the risks are greater for older adults, infants and young children, pregnant people, people with physical and/or mental illnesses, and people with disabilities or mobility issues, Environment Canada says.

Effects of heat illness include swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the worsening of some health conditions. If you experience symptoms of heat illness, move to a cooler environment immediately, such as a shaded or air-conditioned space, the weather agency said in its warning.

Drink plenty of water regularly, even before you feel thirsty, to decrease your risk of dehydration — thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

Other tips from Environment Canada:

  • Limit direct sun exposure. Shade yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat and/or using an umbrella and wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing.
  • Keep your house cool by turning on air conditioning or blocking the sun by closing curtains or blinds, or relocate to a cooler location such as a basement.
  • Never leave people, particularly children, or pets inside a parked vehicle.
  • All workers should take regularly scheduled breaks in a cool or shaded space.
  • Check regularly on people living alone, especially older individuals or people with health conditions.