Temperatures hit - 50 as cold snap hits central and eastern Canada
Daniel Bitonti, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:52PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 2, 2014 6:28PM EST
A frigid cold snap that can freeze exposed skin in a matter of minutes has swept across much of Canada, less than two weeks after hundreds of thousands of people in parts of the country were left without power after a vicious ice storm.
Residents in Lynn Lake, Man., were dealing with frigid temperatures as low as - 44 C with the wind chill Thursday afternoon. Winnipeg was slightly warmer at - 33.
“Most Canadian are saying it is only two weeks old -- winter -- but enough is enough,” Dave Phillips, Environment Canada senior climatologist, told CP24 Thursday afternoon.
“This bully that we describe as the cold air is engulfing all of Canada. Everyone is in this misery from coast to cost to coast.”
In Timmins, Ont., the mercury dipped to - 52 Thursday morning when the wind chill was factored in. The air was so cold it caused ice fog -- a type of fog seen in extreme cold weather that consists of ice crystals -- limiting visibility on many streets and roads. The normal seasonal low in the city is -23.
Southern Ontario was also under a wind chill warning Thursday, with the City of Toronto advising homeless people to seek shelter.
The temperature with the wind chill reached - 31 in the afternoon, and the mercury is expected to dip in the evening. The normal seasonal low for Toronto is -9.
“It is a serious issue with these brutal wind chills where flesh can freeze in under a half hour,” Phillips said.
Less than two weeks ago, nearly half a million people in southern Ontario were left without power after an ice storm knocked down tree branches and power lines.
The latest bout of extreme weather comes just as Toronto Hydro officials announced Wednesday evening that all power outages had been restored.
But at one Toronto high-rise in the north end of the city, some residents were still waiting for their heat to kick on Thursday, a day in which the temperature in the city was actually lower than in Iqaluit, Nunavut, which only reached -20 with the wind chill.
Deep freeze hits Montreal
In Montreal, where the temperature was nearly -40, the Dans la Rue homeless shelter was forced to open early in order for street youth to get relief from the cold.
“We extend our rules so they (youth) can stay longer, an extra night, or two extra nights if possible,” Cecile Arbaud, the shelter’s director, told CTV Montreal.
“Of course we make sure every time they visit us they have enough warm clothes and warmers for their hands.”
Montreal was colder than Alert, Nunavut on Thursday, which is considered to be one of the northernmost permanent settlements in the world. The temperature in Alert was -35 with the wind chill.
Atlantic Canada was bracing for a blizzard expected to hit Thursday evening and continue overnight in some areas. The temperature in Halifax was -32 with the wind chill Thursday afternoon.
RCMP in northwestern New Brunswick said Thursday night that a 29-year-old woman was found frozen in the snow 150 metres from her front door.
Warmer weather around the corner
The cold snap is expected to last until the weekend when temperatures are expected to warm significantly.
Toronto, for example, is expected to hit 0 on Sunday while Montreal is expected to hit a high of -4.
With files from CTV Montreal, CTV Toronto and CTV Northern Ontario