Cold Arctic air brings freezing temperatures to Edmonton

Click to play video: 'Edmonton weather forecast: Dec 5'
Edmonton weather forecast: Dec 5
WATCH ABOVE: Weather meteorologist Jesse Beyer delivers a very cold forecast during Monday's Edmonton News at Noon – Dec 5, 2016

After above seasonal temperatures for much of November, Edmonton is getting a blast of winter during the first full week of December.

Cold Arctic air had moved into the city and much of the Prairies by Monday, bringing with it conditions that are well below normal.

“We’ve been spoiled with a nice Pacific push. But now, with a big trough in the jet stream, the flood gates are open for this dense, cold and dry air to move in,” Global News meteorologist Jesse Beyer said.

The temperature dropped to a high of -14°C Monday and the wind chill made it feel more like -26°C. Scattered flurries were expected in the afternoon.

“As always, with a big change in temperature and pressure comes wind. With the cold temperature, plus wind gusts near 40 km/h, wind chill values will be pushing -30 most of the week,” Beyer said.

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While the cold weather is unpleasant for many, it can be downright dangerous for those who don’t have a place to go to warm up.

Shelters around Edmonton were busy Monday as the first really cold snap of the season hit the city. Monday was also the first real test for Hope Mission’s 24/7 shelter, the first shelter in the city to offer beds during the day for people to warm up.

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“It’s a hard time of year for many people, especially the people we serve,” Tony Tira, shelter manager at Hope Mission, said. “But it’s a great opportunity for us to serve people and hopefully get them on the road to recovery knowing there is a place for them to stay warm.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton shelter opens city’s first 24/7 beds for less fortunate

The trouble is, because it’s been unseasonably warm, many organizations say they haven’t seen as many donations of things like warm clothes and blankets as they usually would by this time of year.

Watch below: Edmonton has been hit with its first blast of winter weather. Temperatures plummeted Monday and the scramble is on to help the city’s less fortunate. Fletcher Kent reports.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton cold snap puts city’s most vulnerable at risk'
Edmonton cold snap puts city’s most vulnerable at risk

Hope Mission is in need of warm clothing like toques, mitts, socks and winter coats. There’s also a desperate need for supplies at the Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society.

“Now that the cold has hit we are seeing a great increase for the warm-up vans, for the shelters and for other agencies, along with the homeless, that are in need of good quality warm blankets,” Nicole Geoffroy, with the EERSS, said.

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The organization usually hands out about 8,000 blankets to those in need and Geoffroy said they’re a few thousand behind that quota.

“We definitely don’t have the surplus that we are in need of,” she said. “We are bare this year.”

Edmontonians shouldn’t expect the conditions to improve any time soon. Highs are expected to hover around minus -20°C into next week.

“Coldest temps will likely be in the mornings from Thursday to Sunday with clear a clear sky expected. We could see the mercury drop below -30°C on thermometers in parts of central and north Alberta through the weekend,” Beyer said.

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