Polar vortex continues to cover Sask. as conditions near -50
REGINA -- All of Saskatchewan remains under an extreme cold warning as Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) estimates temperatures as low as minus 50 in some parts of the province.
On their website, ECCC said that “extreme cold puts everyone at risk.”
“Risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter,” ECCC said.
If wind chill is at –40C or lower at 6 am, transportation for students requiring vehicles equipped with lifts (for wheelchairs) will be cancelled. All student transportation is cancelled at –45C windchill at 6 am. Schools remain open, unless otherwise announced.— Regina Public Schools (@RegPublicSchool) February 5, 2021
RECORDS SET, TIED
Here is a list of weather records that were broken and tied on Sunday. Note that these are intial findings from ECCC, and not its final report.
- New record: -46.4
- Cold Record: -40, 1962
- Records kept since 1962
- New record: -43.4
- Old record: -42.6, 1983
- Records kept since 1972
- New record: -48.7
- Old record: -46.5, 2019
- Records kept since 1976
- New record: -47.6
- Old record: -46.9, 1962
- Records kept since 1960
- New record: -48.9
- Old record: -40, 2019
- Records kept since 1966
Environment Canada meteorologist Terri Lang told CTVNews.ca on Monday that the record-breaking cold has been brought on by a polar vortex moving across western Canada, causing some regions to feel as cold as -50 with the wind chill.
"The spinning up of the cold air up around the North Pole… deepens and strengthens in the winter because of the lack of sunshine," Lang said in a telephone interview.
Lang explained that polar vortexes are not unusual, and their remnants push into Canada most winters around this time.
She said a polar vortex contains Arctic air that sits over the poles for much of the winter. When those weather systems break down heading into spring, Lang said, that Arctic air then falls into Canada.
"Across [the] Prairies, we're just getting some of that cold air that's coming down because the jet stream has looped far enough south. This is what happens every winter, and it’s what gives Canada its cold weather," Lang said.
In Uranium City a record was tied on Sunday morning, with minus 48.9 degrees.
“This same temperature has been recorded there once before, on January 15, 1974.” ECCC Weather Saskatchchewan said on Twitter.
“At temps this cold, frostbite can happen in minutes, watch for signs of cold injury,” ECCC Weather Saskatchewan said.
“Canada just recorded its coldest temperature since 2017, thanks to the #polarvortex,” The Weather Network wrote on Twitter.
In some parts of Saskatchewan, it was cold enough to turn hot water to vapour. A trick shared far and wide on social media over recent winters.
With files from CTVNews.ca's Brooklyn Neustaeter.