TORONTO – Cold Arctic air has settled over parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and northern Ontario, producing frigid wind chills of near -45 C or even -50 C.
Thunder Bay reached a low of -36.7 C and Trout Lake was -37 C early Monday morning. The normal temperature for this time of year is -10 C.
Environment Canada issued a wind chill warning on Sunday night for Northern Ontario, including Big Trout Lake, Fort Hope, Fort Severn and surrounding areas:
“Bitterly cold Arctic air combined with moderate west winds have resulted in extreme wind chills of minus 45 to minus 50 across much of Far Northern Ontario. A few locales may experience wind chills in the minus 50 to minus 55 range.”
The bad news for people in Northern Ontario is that the cold temperatures are expected to last the rest of the week.
“It’s not going anywhere. It’s the story for the rest of this week,” said Geoff Coulson, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment Canada.
“It’s a direct pipeline from Nunavut. There is no better way to describe it. We’re seeing temperatures in northern Nunavut that are the same we’re seeing in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario. This air mass is well-established, it’s widespread.”
Though the deep cold is affecting the three provinces, it’s nowhere near the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada: that was -63 C in Snagg, Yukon. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Ontario was -58.3 C in Iroquois Falls on January 23, 1935.
Fortunately for parts of southern Ontario, the the Great Lakes are providing some moderation. The lakes aren’t completely frozen over, so it helps to bring temperatures down.
“A fair amount of open water, allowing temperatures that start out at Lake Nipigon and Thunder Bay at -25 and by the time the get into London and Windsor, those guys are sitting at -8 or -9.”
In Northern Ontario, smaller lakes have already been frozen over and are unable to provide that kind of moderation.
Though temperatures look to warm up a bit by Friday, the cold weather returns soon after.
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