Polar vortex breaks temperature records across Prairies – cancellations of schools and buses while bitter cold expected to linger

cold temperatures in Canada, freezing temperatures canada prairies, canada prairies polar vortex
Bone-chilling temperatures in Canada

As introduced two days ago, a freezing temperatures are sweeping across North America, Europe and Asia this week.

In Canada, the polar vortex continues to bring bitter cold to the Prairies, resulting in cancellations of schools and buses in all major Prairie cities.

A mass of cold air arrived on Sunday, setting daily temperature records in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

According to Environment Canada, 22 cold-weather records were broken throughout the three provinces.

The coldest temperature was recorded in Uranium City, about 1,045 kilometres northwest of Regina, where it was -48.9°C, breaking a previous record of -40°C set in 2019.

In Alberta, the lowest temperature was recorded in Fort Chipewyan, about 710 km northeast of Edmonton, where it was -47.3°C, breaking the previous record of -45.6°C set in 1936.

Edmonton International Airport was close to breaking a daily record. The temperature reached a low of -43.8°C, with the previous record set on the same day in 1994 at -43.9°C.

In Manitoba, the temperature was a bit higher — but not by much. The community of Roblin, about 405 km northwest of Winnipeg, set a new record of -42°C, breaking the previous record of -40.6°set in 1972.

Bone-chilling cold here to stay 

Monday will be another brutal day of bone-chilling temperatures for the Prairies. 

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold weather warning for most of Alberta and Manitoba and for the entire province of Saskatchewan. 

An Arctic ridge of high pressure has allowed for a very cold air mass to settle over southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba,” the weather agency said on its website.

Along with winds of 10 to 20 km/h, extreme wind chill values between –40°C and –50°C are expected over most of southern Saskatchewan. 

In Alberta, including Edmonton and Calgary, temperatures will feel like –55°C with the wind chill factored in.

Environment Canada says the bitterly cold air will remain over the Prairies for much of the next week.

Schools, buses cancelled 

Aside from bringing in record-low temperatures, the bitter cold has also brought many students a day off. 

Buses have been cancelled by school divisions in major Prairie cities including Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton. 

Buses were cancelled by school divisions in major cities across the Prairies. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Most school buses do not run if temperatures feel like –40°C to –45°C with the wind chill, depending on the division.

Additionally, several school divisions throughout Alberta and Manitoba have closed schools or cancelled classes, citing safety concerns brought on by the cold. 

In Saskatchewan, schools remain open.

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1 Comment

  1. Probably time to use the engine block heaters. Watch out for things breaking left and right. Been through these types of freezes. Better to stay home, and make a hearty soup. Split pea, chowders, etc. Play cards in front of the fireplace. Stay warm.

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