Smoke and heat in the forecast this week

A smoky haze lingered over Prince Albert Wednesday as smoke from northern wildfires blew into town. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Hot temperatures and smoky skies are in the forecast for the next few days as a blast of summer rolls through the prairies.

Environment Canada issued a pair of statements for the Prince Albert area Tuesday, one for a prolonged period of extreme heat, and one for air quality due to wildfire smoke.

According to the special weather statement, an upper-level ridge building over the Prairies will mean very warm temperatures will spread through Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Heat warnings have been issued for regions in Saskatchewan, from Prince Albert south. These areas will see temperature hover in the mid-30s this week and the high teens overnight. The hottest temperatures are forecasted for Friday and Saturday, with temperatures expected to return to normal next week.

For Prince Albert, temperatures are expected to reach 34 C Friday, with an overnight low of 17 C.  Forecasted ain Saturday night into Sunday evening is expected to help bring temperatures back down to the normal range of the mid-20s.

The highest temperature recorded between 1943 and 2013 for August 10 is 35.2 C. Friday’s heat wave will come close to matching that.

As for smoke, those conditions are expected to dissipate Wednesday. The smoke is coming from wildfires from Alberta and BC, causing poor air quality and reduced visibility.

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” Environment Canada said.

“People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.”