Frigid weekend prompts many Albertans to pull out their cold weather hacks

Turn on the fireplace and pull out the blankets. Much of Alberta is covered by extreme cold warnings with wind chills making it feel like –45 C in some places.

Much of province is under an extreme cold warning with wind chills of –45 in some places

Paul Slim's dog, left, is ready for winter. Judy Hope and other Albertans are embracing the outdoors despite the frigid temperatures. (Paul Slim/Twitter, Judy Hope/Twitter)

Turn on the fireplace and pull out the blankets.

Much of Alberta is covered by extreme cold warnings from Environment and Climate Change Canada, with the weather authority predicting wind chills making it feel like –40 to –45 C.

The warning doesn't apply to the province's southeastern corner, but that region will still see a dramatic drop in temperature Friday ahead of a chilly weekend.

Thursday felt almost balmy with a high of –12 C in Calgary but temperatures wll go below –20 C once again this afternoon in Calgary and will stay down there through to Monday. Edmonton is forecast to hit –30 tonight.

Predictions are pretty consistent through southern Alberta. On Saturday, the mercury is expected to drop down to –26 C in Medicine Hat, –29 C in Calgary, –30 C in Lethbridge and –32 C in Banff and Pincher Creek.

It'll be nearly as cold Sunday, and Environment Canada is warning of "frostbite in minutes" both days.

So how to survive through another cold weekend? Calgary Eyeopener listeners are here for you. They've sent in many, many tips to stay positive, cosy and active.

"The old-timey fur hats come out on our walking treks outdoors today," Brian and Ellen Pegg wrote in to say. "The fur flaps are unfurled and unrolled down over the ears to stop the assault of the prairie winds."

His gas oven is fired up and he's filled up on homemade biscuits with sour cherries for breakfast. A tasty "root vegetabley beef stew" is simmering on the stove for supper.

Bundle up

Judy Hope in Calgary isn't letting the cold slow her down. Before the deep cold hits this weekend, she headed Friday for a hike in the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area, just south of the city.

"My best hacks are hand and foot warmers, earmuffs and a neck warmer," she said on Twitter.

Raechel Ferrier warms up with 20 minutes of yoga and a hot cup of tea. Others suggested looking for free trial gym and pool passes to keep the kids from going squirrelly.

If you want some cold weather activities, many rinks offer free or lost-cost indoor skating times.

For pet owners, Environment Canada asks people to be mindful of their critters' health if taking them outside for walks. If it's too cold for a human, it's too cold for a dog, the agency says.

People are encouraged to watch for symptoms related to the cold, including shortness of breath, numbness, fingers and toes that change colour, chest pain and muscle weakness.

Janni Belgum won't be leaving her home in Crowsnest Pass. People living there can look forward to a high of –24 C with the wind chill making it feel like –42 Saturday morning.

"I like to keep warm with a blanket over me, lying in my big chair, with my cat, Hobo," she said. "It is hard to beat."

Or be like Gordi Moynham, who's checking chores off the list.

Karen Gilmore-Thomson, who swears by her fleece leggings, is setting her sights on places far away while bunkering down inside this weekend.

"Turn on the snoozerator, which is the gas fireplace, and look for sunny vacation deals," she said.

Share your cold weather hacks and weekend tips in the comments below.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.


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