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B.C. Environment Canada’s top weather events for 2021: heat wave

B.C. Environment Canada’s top weather events for 2021: heat wave

Lytton

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s top-ranked weather events in Canada in the past year was British Columbia’s record-breaking heat.

On Thursday, the weather agency released its annual list highlighting the top weather events. The heat wave topped the list, closely followed by recent flooding in B.C.

All told, British Columbia weather events were mentioned in at least five of the 10 submissions.

Environment Canada stated that this year was the first time in 26 years that the Top 10 Weather Events have been released.

Although it is impossible to attribute any weather event to human-caused global climate change, the evidence shows that we are seeing more severe and frequent extreme weather. Climate change is causing more severe and frequent disasters all over the globe. 

Here’s a detailed look at Environment Canada’s top weather events for 2021:

1. HEAT WAVE IN B.C.

Lytton

Lytton, B.C. experienced a Death Valley moment on June 29th when temperatures reached a new Canadian record of 49.6 C. The Death Valley moment, when temperatures reached a new Canadian record at 49.6 C, was witnessed.

Lytton set a new Canadian heat record for the third consecutive day. It was hotter than any time in Europe or South America.

Two people were killed and 1,200 others were displaced by a wildfire that ravaged 90 percent of the town on June 30.

2. B.C. FLOODING

B.C. flooding

Environment Canada reports that the first seven atmospheric rivers formed on the southern coast, British Columbia’s southern coast, on November 13. There, heavy rain combined with already soggy conditions caused a flood of floods.

Many roads were washed out or covered with debris by the flooding. It also killed thousands of livestock and caused havoc in Canada’s supply chains. 

According to the agency, it is most likely the most costly and destructive weather disaster in Canadian history.

3. DROUGHT OVER CANADA

Historians have compared the drought this summer in the Prairies to the Great Depression. By the end of the season, many communities had declared ecological disaster.

It was one of 75 hottest summers in 75 decades.

The Canadian Drought Monitor categorized 99 per cent of Prairies’ agricultural land as in drought just a week before Canadians were scheduled to harvest their crops.

4. WILDFIRE SESSION

B.C. wildfire

Canada’s wildfire season began about a month earlier in 2021, and saw approximately 2,500 more wildfires in that year than in 2020.

British Columbia alone has reported 1,522 destructions this year, which is 1.5 times more than Prince Edward Island.

On July 10, wildfires were out of control in every province and territory, except Atlantic Canada and Nunavut.

5. FOUR HEAT WAVES

Canada’s summer was fifth-warmest in the past 74 year, prompting heat records throughout the country.

There were four heat waves in 2021. These were defined as humidex values above 40°C, afternoons above 30°C, and nights above 20°C.

6. TORNADOES

Barrie tornado

Although tornadoes with a rating above two are not common in Canada, this year saw several of them.

Numerous tornadoes, including one EF2, struck Quebec on June 21. They claimed the first tornado victim in Quebec in 27 years. More than 100 homes sustained severe damage.

Barrie, Ont. saw another EF2 tornado. On July 15, an EF2 tornado struck Barrie, Ont., where it destroyed 150 homes and nearly 700 cars. Although they were not as damaging, there were six other EF2 tornadoes that day.

7. FEBRUARY DEEP FREEZE

Canada was almost frozen for part of February by Arctic blasts from Siberia & Greenland that occurred simultaneously

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Every square kilometre of the country was frozen on the weekend of February 14, but the worst was in the Prairies where temperatures dropped to -55 degrees.

Winnipeg’s February 13th record low of -38.8 degree was lower than the summit of Mount Everest.

The freezing temperatures caused pucks to split after collision with the post at a charity hockey match in Edmonton.

8. HAILSTORM IN CALGARY

Skyview hailstorm victim struggles with insurer

Calgary was hit by a storm on July 2nd, with hail and rain of 50 millimetres.

The storm caused flooding, clogged drains and sewer backups. It is estimated that it cost $555 million in insurance claims.

The top weather event of the year was a hailstorm that destroyed Calgary’s buildings and caused $1 billion in damage.

9. HURRICANE LARRY

Hurricane Larry

Hurricane Larry, a Category-2 storm, entered Canadian waters on September 2, but did not make landfall in Newfoundland until September 11.

The hurricane caused widespread damage to roads along the coast and caused widespread outages throughout the province. However, most Newfoundlanders were well prepared for the storm.

10. PRAIRIE CLIPPER

An atmospheric river in the Pacific Ocean brought strong winds to Alberta and the Prairies, reaching speeds of more than 100 kilometres an hour in mid-January.

Bratts lake, Saskatchewan. Wind gusts were reported at 143 km/h, while the Moose Jaw airport recorded 161 km/h.

Rain then turned to snow in the area, resulting in poor visibility across the Prairies.

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