When Peter Scott moved to Fort Severn First Nation last fall to manage the remote community’s grocery store, the last thing on his mind was air-conditioning.
Scott, who is from Fredericton, N.B., could be forgiven for assuming that any community that’s a stone’s throw from Hudson Bay, and is occasionally harassed by polar bears, would be on the chilly side almost all of the time.
“They told me they had to shoot a bear on my front yard, only the week before I moved here,” Scott said Monday.
Then, on Sunday, Scott’s perception of the Far North was thrown for a loop. As the Cree community about 800 kilometres north of Thunder Bay became enshrouded in humidity, the temperature was a sticky 37 C.
“It was our worst day,” said Scott, who is used to cooler Maritime weather. “You didn’t even want to move. I wasn’t expecting that at all.”
By Canada Day, Thunder Bay and much of Northwestern Ontario will start to feel the heat wave that has already made it uncomfortable in other parts of the North.
Environment Canada said the mercury is to spike to 32 C in Thunder Bay on Thursday, about seven degrees warmer than normal for this time of year.
Meteorologist Peter Kimbell said hot air blowing up from Texas and other parts of the southern U.S. is being hemmed in by a high-pressure block that prevents any Arctic air from flowing into the region.
“That’s why (on Thursday) it’s going to be hotter in Thunder Bay than it is in Toronto,” said Kimbell.