The last time it was anywhere close to this cold in Calgary in February was 1979

March looks set to come in like a lion in Alberta, and then just pretty much stay that way, if the experts are right.

'We're not done yet. We've got about two to three more weeks'

Ice fog shrouds the Bow River early Monday morning at St. Patrick's Island in Calgary. A cold weather system remains stubbornly stuck over much of Alberta. (Christine Boyd/CBC)

March looks set to come in like a lion in Alberta, and then pretty much just stay that way, if the experts are right.

Environment Canada's weather alert map shows red for most of central and southern Alberta, with coldest wind chill values set to be near –40 in many communities, including Lethbridge, Okotoks, Airdrie, Drumheller and Brooks.

Calgary is not under an alert, but the forecast calls for temperatures to remain well below seasonal with a low of –26 C Monday night.

It's predicted to warm up slightly by mid-week with a high of –6 C on Wednesday, but it'll be back to the deep freeze on Friday with a high of only –19 C, Environment Canada says.

If it seems like it's been an unusually cold month in Calgary, that's because it has.

According to Environment Canada data, February 2019, so far, has been even colder than the brutal month the city experienced back in 1979. During that February 40 years ago, the average temperature in the city, measured hourly, was –16.7 C.

So far this month, it's been –18.5 C.

(Mobile users: Chart is easier to read with your device held horizontally.)

Hourly records only go back to 1953, but there is daily data as far back as 1882.

And by that measure, this February would be the third-coldest on record, if average temperatures continue at this level.

And, according to The Weather Network, there's more cold in store for at least the first half of March.

"It's been extremely cold across this region, but we're not done yet. We've got about two to three more weeks," said the network's chief meteorologist, Chris Scott.

"But it's not going to be tulips and daffodils and clear sailing into May."

He said the Prairie provinces can expect a shock of warmer weather, but there will be swings of wilder winter conditions at the end of March into the beginning of April.

Once spring arrives, warmer than average temperatures are expected across Alberta, with below seasonal precipitation in the south and a normal amount in the rest of the province.

Bowness High School in northwest Calgary was closed for the day on Monday. The Calgary Board of Education said there was no power and limited heat in the building and that its facilities and environmental services staff were working on repairs.

The school is expected to reopen on Tuesday.

With files from The Canadian Press


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