Ottawa's deep freeze continues through Monday, 'brief relief' to come mid-week
After Ottawa briefly claimed the title of chilliest capital city in the world on Saturday morning, withstanding its coldest snowstorm in decades, an extreme cold warning for the city remains in effect on Monday, with Environment Canada predicting only a “brief relief” from the frigid temperatures mid-week.
The temperature with wind chill is forecasted to remain between -35 C and -40 C throughout Monday morning, rising to near -30 C in the afternoon, Environment Canada says.
The agency’s two-word recommendation for today: “Cover up.”
Frostbite can develop “within minutes” on exposed skin in these glacial temperatures, Environment Canada warned.
Ottawa’s public health agency also suggests residents dress in layers to protect skin from wind and moisture.
Ok #OttCity, it's very very cold out there! Be sure to dress in layers!
3 are recommended:
1–The layer closest to your skin should be clothing that wicks moisture away
2–A warm insulating layer such as a sweater/sweatshirt
3-An outer layer that protects you from wind & moisture pic.twitter.com/z2HWEfnVOz
— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) January 21, 2019
Environment Canada warns the risk of frostbite and hypothermia are greater for “young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter.”
The weather agency also cautions against leaving your pet outside for too long.
While Ottawa is currently colder than places like Greenland and the South Pole, areas in northern Ontario and the northern tip of the country and are measuring lower than -40 C without wind chill, Environment Canada meteorologist Marie-Eve Giguère.
According to WorldAtlas, Ottawa is on average the seventh coldest capital in the world, while the coldest is Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Relief on Wednesday, Thursday will be ‘brief’: EC meteorologist
Environment Canada forecasts that temperatures in Ottawa will fall close to -25 C again on Monday night (with wind chill expected near -35) before a “milder air mass” moves in on Tuesday, providing some reprieve from its deep freeze on Wednesday and Thursday.
That relief, however, will be “brief,” Giguère said, and residents should be prepare for frigid temperatures again this weekend and throughout the rest of January.
Wind chill is expected to measure at -34 Tuesday morning and rise to -15 in the afternoon, rising again to -13 overnight. Some snow is forecasted for Wednesday, with a high of 0 C during the day and a chance of flurries on Thursday with a high of -7 C.
Temperatures are forecasted to plummet once more to -23 C on Friday night, Environment Canada says.
Last weekend’s cold snowstorm ‘rare’
A significant dump of snow accompanied Ottawa’s extreme cold temperatures over the weekend — which Giguère described as an “unusual” combination.
“It doesn’t happen often; it’s rare,” she said.
The meteorologist said the last recorded snowstorm with similar characteristics in the region was on Jan. 10, 1977 — 42 years ago.
Driving conditions poor, provincial police warn
The snowfall and extreme cold since Friday have caused poor driving conditions on Ottawa’s roads.
The Ontario Provincial Police’s detachment in Ottawa reported on Monday that officers responded to 82 collisions on highways within the city between Friday evening and Monday morning.
“Please reduce your speed and increase your following distance,” Ottawa OPP said in a news release.
The weather early Monday morning also contributed to many delays along school bus routes for English schools in the national capital.
—With a file from Mike Armstrong in Montreal