Extreme wind chill values below -40 C have prompted Environment Canada to issue a warning for the City of Edmonton and the capital region.
At 8 a.m. Friday, the temperature at the International Airport is -30 C with a 13-kilometre-per-hour wind making the temperatures feel more like -42 C.
This extreme cold is forecast to last through Friday night and into Saturday morning.
In fact, two dozen places across Alberta set new record low temperatures this morning though Edmonton was not among them. The city's record temperature for Dec. 6th was set in 1956 at -32.2 C.
Manning, Alta., 600 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, may have been the coldest place on the planet this morning. The town recorded a temperature of -34 C, with a windchill of -44 C.
Protecting yourself from the cold
At these extreme wind chill values, frostbite on exposed skin may occur in less than 10 minutes.
“Stay warm, dress in layers, synthetic layer always next to the skin that helps wick away a lot of the moisture,” advised Dr. Chris Sikora with AHS.
“When we are outside when it is this cold we sweat an awful lot, so it's quite important to stay hydrated and drink a lot of fluids.”
Symptoms of frostbite include:
- Pain and numbness in fingertips and the toes
- Patches of skin that are waxy or hard to the touch
- In severe cases, blistering
(Source: Alberta Health Services)
Sikora said anyone experiencing these symptoms seek medical treatment immediately.
The frigid temperatures are also causing event cancellations across the city.
Organizers called off the ribbon cutting for Candy Cane Lane scheduled for Friday night. The Christmas-themed street festival in west Edmonton, an important fundraiser for the Edmonton Food Bank, will officially open without any ceremony.
Likewise, schools across the city kept students indoors at recess Friday.
The normal high for Edmonton today is -5°C, while the low is -16°C.