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Extreme cold warning smothers most of Alberta

File: A woman bundled up for winter, walking along a Calgary sidewalk on Dec. 2, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News

Alberta was paid a visit by Jack Frost overnight resulting in extreme cold warnings throughout much of the province.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued an extreme cold warning around 4 a.m. Friday.

“Today will be another cold day with temperatures well below seasonal and similar to what we’ve been experiencing all week long,” said Tiffany Lizée, Global News Calgary’s chief meteorologist.

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So what’s causing this spate of frigid air? Lizée attributes it to a polar vortex, which is an area of low pressure over the poles, and a trough in the jet stream that has been pushing cold arctic air down into Western Canada.

File: A graphic explaining the Polar Vortex that caused most if not all extreme cold warnings across Alberta on Dec. 2, 2022. Courtesy: SkyTracker

The warning covered most if not all of Alberta with some places such as Red Deer hitting -42 C in the early morning.

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In a news release, ECCC said wind chill values will become moderate in the afternoon, yet extreme cold conditions could return overnight in a few regions.

File: A graphic explaining how wind chill is calculated. Courtesy: SkyTracker

“There is some relief on the way this weekend for Calgary, with more seasonal temperatures on Saturday and Sunday,” Lizée explained.

The 10-day temperature trend for Calgary as of Dec. 2, 2022. Courtesy: SkyTracker

Extreme cold warnings are issued when very cold temperatures or wind chill creates an elevated risk to health such as frostbite and hypothermia.

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People are advised to dress warm by layering up, and to remove various layers if they get too warm. The agency said the the outer layer should be wind resistant to combat the wind chill.

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ECCC said health risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors and those without proper shelter.

File: A graphic explaining the risks associated with frostbite. Courtesy: SkyTracker
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