TORONTO -- A deep chill is setting in across a large part of Canada, with the wind chill making some parts of the country feel as cold as -50.

In a phone interview with, Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng said “the only place that is immune to this cold is the B.C. coast.”

Instead of the cold, parts of the coastal province are dealing with snowfall warnings. Environment Canada said drivers travelling along the Coquihalla Highway, which connects Vancouver and Kamloops, should take extra care over the next couple of days due to snow.  


“Once you get over the Rockies, the Prairies is where this really cold air is going to hit the hardest,” Cheng said, describing daytime highs around 10 degrees below normal.

Extreme cold warnings were put in place Wednesday for areas around Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan, Atla. The cold warning is expected to remain in effect throughout the week, with nighttime temperatures hitting as low as -50 with the wind chill.

It’s a similar story in Saskatchewan, where the wind chill will make it feel like -40 in the north. 

Cheng said parts of the Prairies will receive a brief warm up over the next two days, but warned that “another punch” of cold will be coming over the weekend.


Extreme cold weather warnings were issued Wednesday in several northern Ontario communities. Those advisories warned of temperatures similar to those seen out west.

“Looking at Ontario and Quebec, we’re looking at the coldest day and night today,” Cheng said. “The temperature should start to rise starting tomorrow.”

Large parts of Ontario also had snow squall warnings in place. The province’s cottage country was hit particularly bad, with buses cancelled throughout Parry Sound and Muskoka. 

Extreme cold and snow squall advisories were also issued throughout Quebec, including in the Montreal area.


Cheng said the Maritimes should expect this Arctic cold air mass to arrive Thursday, but suggested temperatures should begin to rise by Friday.

But Atlantic Canada wasn’t void of wintry weather. Several schools closed across Nova Scotia on Wednesday because of snowfall. 

"Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations," Environment Canada's warning reads.

Environment Canada also recommends covering up when temperatures get this cold, as frostbite can develop within minutes.

And don’t forget about Fido, either. The weather office says pet owners should keep their animals indoors.