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These Manitoba communities broke heat records Wednesday

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A number of southern Manitoba cities, towns and communities broke heat records on Wednesday, with above seasonal temperatures expected to continue for the next few days.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, many of the newly shattered records were set in 2015.

They include; Carberry, which hit a high of 9.4 C, breaking the heat record of 9 C; Deerwood saw the mercury rise to 10.1 C, breaking a record of 9.6 C; the Emerson area saw temperatures reach 8.9 C, breaking the previous record of 7.1 C; Steinbach’s high was 7.8 C, surpassing the previous heat record of 5.5 C; McCreary, meantime, was the record breaking hot spot of the province hitting 11.2 C, breaking the former record of 9.3 C.

Meantime, Fisher Branch reached a high of 7.2 C, surpassing the previous record of 4.1 C set in 1999.

Gimli also broke a record set back in 1944. That municipality hit a high of 6 C, breezing past the previous record of 3.3 C.

Natalie Hasell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, says a dome of warm air and a low-pressure system to our north were the culprits for all those balmy highs.

“A good number of places in southern Manitoba were in the warm sector associated with this low-pressure system,” she said.

“So if you are in the warm sector, you are in the part where the air is coming from the southwest, so you see warm air being brought into the warm sector.”

The frontal structure associated with that system has since moved off, but Hasell says warm temperatures will still continue into Thursday. Conditions are expected to change overnight as another pressure system comes through. This is likely to bring mixed precipitation and slightly cooler temperatures.

“Still above normal, but definitely cooler than what we've seen in the last while,” Hasell said.

Underpinning this all is El Niño conditions – a weather phenomenon associated with the warming of ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

“We can expect temperatures to be above normal, maybe even well above normal on average as they were most of this fall and continuing this winter, and maybe even into the spring,” Hasell said.

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