The entire province is covered by a heat wave warning issued on Tuesday morning. (Map from Environment Canada)

Heat wave warning continues all week for central Alberta

Parts of Camrose, Ponoka, Lacombe, Red Deer, Stettler, Flagstaff and Paintearth counties included

Environment Canada has issued a heat wave warning for the entire province.

“A prolonged, dangerous and historic heat wave will persist through this week,” says Environment Canada. Afternoon highs are expected to peak near 40 C in some areas by mid-week. “The heat wave will continue into early next week for some regions.

“Little to no reprieve from the heat is expected, as overnight lows will remain between 15 and 25 C.”

Red Deer’s high is expected to hit 35 C on Tuesday and 36 C on Wednesday and Thursday. It will cool slightly to 29 C on Friday, when there is a 30 per cent chance of showers. Saturday is expected to be cloudy with a high of 25 C and Sunday’s high is 26 C.

The unusually hot weather for central Alberta boosts the risk of heat-related illnesses. It is recommended that people save their outdoor activities until later in the day, take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. Special care should be taken not to leave children or pets in closed vehicles.

Signs of heat stroke or exhaustion can include a high body temperature, lack of sweat, confusion, fainting and even losing consciousness.

Children, seniors and those with pre-existing lung, heart, kidney, nervous system, mental health or diabetic conditions can be at increased risk.

The ridge of high pressure that is creating the current stagnant conditions is also affecting air quality.

Special air quality statements have been issued for 11 areas of the province, including central Alberta. City of Red Deer and parts of Lacombe, Ponoka, Red Deer, Stettler and Paintearth counties are included in the statement updated around 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Air quality is expected to be at its worst in the evening while these hot and sunny conditions persist.”

Signs the air conditions are affecting your health include coughing, throat irritation, headaches and shortness of breath. Children and seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are especially at risk.

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