Feels like -45 with the wind: Fort McMurray to Medicine Hat under extreme cold warning

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Environment Canada issued extreme cold warnings for a big strip of eastern Alberta Tuesday afternoon, covering Fort McMurray to Lloydminster.

On Tuesday, the warnings covered northeastern Alberta, almost all of Saskatchewan and much of western Manitoba. All people in those regions are being warned of extreme conditions into Wednesday morning that feel like -40 to -45 with the wind.

“A period of very cold wind chills continues,” Environment Canada said. “The coldest wind chill values will be between -40 and -45.”

On Tuesday evening, more warnings were issued for areas as far south as Medicine Hat.

“Temperatures will moderate by Wednesday afternoon.”

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Alberta regions under extreme cold warnings were:

  • Bonnyville – St. Paul – Cold Lake – Lac La Biche
  • Brooks – Strathmore – Vulcan
  • Drumheller – Three Hills
  • Fort Chipewyan – Wood Buffalo National Park
  • Fort McMurray – Fort MacKay
  • Hanna – Coronation – Oyen
  • Leduc – Camrose – Wetaskiwin – Tofield
  • Lloydminster – Wainwright – Vermillion – Provost
  • Medicine Hat – Bow Island – Suffield
  • Red Deer – Ponoka – Innisfail – Stettler

A full list of current extreme cold warnings can be found here.

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“The arctic air will leave a clear sky, leading to -30s on thermometers this evening,” explained Global Edmonton’s chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer.

“At those temperatures, it doesn’t take much of a wind to get wind chill values near -40.”

Environment Canada offered a few recommendations on how to best deal with the cold saying: “synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation” than other types of fabrics.

“Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk” of frost bite or hypothermia, the warning said.

Dressing in layers with a wind-resistant outer layer is also recommended. And if you get wet, try to change into dry clothing as soon as possible as “you lose heat faster when you’re wet,” according to Environment Canada.

READ MORE: Parts of Alberta could see -40 C temperatures next week 

“The good news is Northern Alberta will get a break from the cold Wednesday afternoon, with daytime highs getting into the minus teens,” Beyer said.

“The bad news is the cold could return once again Thursday morning… Morning lows may be near -30 once again Thursday morning.”

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If you’ve had enough of the cold weather in Alberta, there is good news on the horizon.

“As the temperature roller coaster continues, things will become more mild through the coming weekend,” Beyer said. Temperatures above 0C are expected in the Capital Region by Saturday.

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