Polar vortex returning to northern Ontario

'Very cold Arctic air' is coming back — and that's bad news for northwestern Ontario, which saw some record-breaking low temperatures earlier this month.
Environment Canada reports the weather in northwestern Ontario will be colder than normal through the rest of January and into February. (CBC)

The polar vortex is coming back — and that's bad news for northwestern Ontario, which saw some record-breaking low temperatures earlier this month.

Environment Canada meteorologist Jeff Coulson said the same kind of system will head south, from the Arctic, next week.

"We are seeing a pipeline setting up of very, very cold Arctic air, starting in the far north of the country," he said.

"[It will be] working its way down, almost due north to south ... through northern Ontario, and then deep down into the U.S. as well."

Coulson said a number of Canadian and U.S. weather forecast models all call for colder-than-seasonal temperatures in their seven- and 14-day outlooks.

The coming deep freeze looks to be a long-lasting one. 

"On Monday, Thunder Bay will struggle to get a a daytime high of -17 C. The normal should be about -9 C.  Those temperatures [will be] staying around those values for much of the rest of next week," Coulson said.

"We may get a few more days over the course of the next few weeks with more seasonal temperatures, but the overall trend is for much colder-than-normal temperatures, right through the northwest, to finish off January and to start the month of February."

Over the short term, the area may experience lows of -30 C or colder, he added.

The seven-day forecast for Thunder Bay calls for overnight lows of -24 C to -29 C until Thursday.

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