Alberta shivers amid record lows

Edmonton recorded the lowest temperature in North America overnight as the current deep freeze also established records across the province.

Edmonton has established a record it would probably rather forget.

The Alberta capital recorded the lowest temperature in North America overnight Saturday — and set a record as the lowest temperature on a Dec. 13 in the city's history — as the current deep freeze established records across the province.

"Edmonton International Airport was the coldest place in Canada," Peter Spyker, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Sunday. "It was -46.1 [Celsius] without the wind chill. I believe at one point it got to -58 with the wind chill."

The previous record for Dec. 13 was -36.1 C, set in 2008.

A mechanical problem unrelated to the cold left about 6,000 homes without electricity for about an hour around noon on Edmonton's southeast side.

Several other cities in Alberta saw record lows, including Cold Lake, Grande Prairie and Whitecourt.

The brutal temperatures have also brought out the best in some Calgarians.

On Saturday, Calgary police duty Insp. Rob Williams was travelling on the northbound Macleod Trail near the 22X overpass when he spotted what appeared to be a large, multi-vehicle collision.

In fact, several cars had screeched to a halt when a tiny kitten, searching for a place to get out of the cold, had wandered onto the busy road, which has a 80 km/h speed limit.

Kitten seeks warmth

The scared kitten climbed up into the engine compartment of one of the stopped cars, Williams said in a news release, and several drivers tried to retrieve the kitten with no luck.

Working together after nearly 30 minutes in –25 C conditions, one man jacked up the front of the small car while another crawled underneath.

Williams pushed the kitten down through a tiny opening to the undercarriage where it was safely retrieved.

The owner has not been located, Williams said.

The expected low heading into Monday is a bone-chilling –33 C in Edmonton, with Calgary just behind at –31 C.

More seasonal temperatures are expected by the end of the week.