Heat records fell all over Central Alberta on Thursday on a true summer scorcher.
Environment Canada reported new records in 25 Alberta communities, including Coronation, Lacombe and Rocky Mountain House in Central Alberta.
Red Deer topped out at 32.2C, just off the record of 33.3C set in 1920.
Outdoor pools and beaches were packed as sun seekers got their rays in before temperatures cooled and forecast weekend rains rolled in.
Coronation hit 35.4C, beating the 2001 mark of 32.8C; Lacombe’s 33.5C edged a 95-year-old record of 33.3C; and Rocky Mountain House’s 31.5C beat the 1973 record of 33.1C.
Environment Canada meteorologist Michel Gelinas said the heat wave could be attributed to an upper low pressure area off California that funnelled warm air up to Southern Alberta.
“The air flow you were seeing over Southern Alberta originated in the southwest U.S. That’s why it’s so warm.”
That began to change overnight on Thursday and cooler temperatures were on the way, bringing thunderstorms.
Gelinas said today is expected to be rainy as the system off California moves to the northeast.
“It’s bringing in much cooler air. So the warm air is being shoved to the east, towards Manitoba.”
The hot weather and low water levels prompted Alberta Environment and Parks to close temporarily nine fishing spots on rivers and streams throughout Southern Alberta on Tuesday. Another nine were added on Friday.
On the first list of no-fishing zones is the Little Red Deer River and tributaries from the headwaters downstream to Red Deer River, including Dogpound Creek and its tributaries.
“Angling in these areas presents a high risk to fish populations and may result in mortalities, even when using catch and release practices,” says Alberta Environment.
“These closures will also result in the temporary suspension of all Fisheries Research Licences issued in these waters.”
For a full list of off-limit areas, go to www.mywildalberta.com.