The August long weekend is here, marking the mid-way point of summer in Saskatchewan.
People heading out of town or even to the Queen City Ex might want to check the forecast and prepare for mixed weather.
Environment Canada is reporting a chance of showers and thundershowers Friday and Saturday. Sunday could bring a mix of sun and cloud with a high of only 23 C, but the heat should return on the holiday Monday with sun and a forecast high of 29 C.
With many people heading out to the lake or campgrounds, the province is reminding drivers to be patient in highway construction zones.
Joe Hargrave, Minister responsible for SGI, said long weekend travel always seems to come with an increased risk of being injured or killed in highway collisions and reminded people to take care on the highways.
“Please obey posted speed limits, especially in orange zones. Police will also be out watching for impaired drivers, so if long weekend plans involve alcohol — or anything else that impairs you — plan a safe ride home,” Hargrave said in a news release.
As we are right in the middle of road work season, there are orange construction zones with reduced speed limits all over the province. Many orange zones will keep temporary speed restrictions in place, even with no workers present due to hazards like lane closures, loose gravel or a sharp drop in pavement.
Anyone planning a trip can check the Highway Hotline for an updated list of road construction.
Province issues blanket warning for blue-green algae
If the lake is your spot this August long weekend, you might want to watch out before potentially jumping into something that can make you sick or even kill your pet.
Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency (WSA) has an umbrella warning for the entire province to watch out for blue-green algae.
Patrick Boyle with the WSA said to be extra careful in the Qu’Appelle lakes, like Buffalo Pound or Crooked Lake, where blue-green algae has been reported.
“Usually, you kind of see it if it’s a really thick concentration…they kind of look scummy in areas,” he said.
He added it will likely look bright green or teal, but can be grey or tan. The algae will have a shimmery, foamy appearance and look similar to pea soup.
Blue-green algae forms in calm water in nutrient-rich areas.
Another factor to its formation is warm, dry weather, which is why it can be more prone to form at the end of July and beginning of August.
“In the warmer temperatures over the last little while here we’ve seen, those conditions create the opportunity for those blooms to form and they sort of thrive on those,” Boyle said.
While humans get red skin, nausea, diarrhea, or a sore throat from coming into contact or consuming blue-green algae, it can also be fatal for pets.
“Sometimes they don’t stop consuming it,” said Boyle.
If you have any of these symptoms, the Water Security Agency said to call the Health Line at 8-1-1 or your local health region.
with files from CJME News