February 3, 2014 3:00 pm

Google Doodle marks coldest day in Canada

The Google Doodle on Feb. 3 marks the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada.

Google/Screen capture

TORONTO – It’s been a cold winter across Canada for sure. But Google is reminding us that, well, things could be a lot worse.

Today’s Canadian Google Doodle marks the coldest temperature in Canada, in Snag, Yukon, on this day in 1947 at a bone-chilling -63 C.

“So that was the coldest moment in Canadian history. It still stands up as the coldest; the coldest in North America,” said David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada.

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Now, on the bright side, it comes nowhere near the coldest temperature recorded on Earth. That record belongs in East Antarctica. Luckily, there was no one there to confirm the frigid temperature of -94.7 C in August 2010. Rather, it was in December 2013 when the National Snow and Ice Data Center analyzed satellite data that it was officially confirmed. That’s colder than dry ice.

But Canada isn’t just a country of cold extremes. In fact, we’re a complicated country meteorologically.

Phillips has been compiling climate data for years and came up with a list of “weather winners”: data using 100 of the country’s largest cities.

The data finds that, though Snag was cold, the city with the coldest winter overall is Yellowknife, N.W.T., which has an average temperature of -28.9.

On the plus side, it also holds the record for the sunniest summer. Unfortunately, it is also the city with the coldest spring (-5.7 C) and the coldest temperature year-round average (-4.6 C).

When it comes to sunshine and summer weather, there are a couple of cities one could escape to soak up some of the warmth.

The sunniest Canadian city year-round is Medicine Hat, Alta., with 2512 hours of sunshine. The city with the hottest summer is Kamloops, B.C. with an average of 26.9 C.

Prince Rupert, B.C., is the city with the least sunshine year-round, with just 1229 hours of sunshine. It also holds the record for the rainiest city (2468 mm).

So, depending on what you like, there are plenty of places in Canada that can give you records and a variety of weather.

By the way, today’s temperature in Snag? That would be a comparatively balmy high of -21 C.

(Note to Google: Two cities hold the tie for the hottest temperature in Canada — Midale, Sask. and Yellow Grass, Sask. with a high of 45 C on July 5, 1937. Hope you remember that in five months’ time.)

© Shaw Media, 2014

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