'Pipeline' of freezing Arctic air to keep Waterloo Region cold for weeks

It's cold now in Waterloo Region - and it's going to stay cold for weeks, according to Environment Canada.
Ice blankets a tree branch. Cold weather is going to stick around in Waterloo Region for weeks, according to Environment Canada. (Tiplyashina Evgeniya/Shutterstock )

Frigid air from the Arctic is chilling Waterloo Region this week, setting new temperature records for cold and according to Environment Canada, the deep freeze is going to stick around for weeks.

"A very persistent pattern is set up in the atmosphere, unfortunately. Literally a pipeline of air coming down from the Arctic circle through the province of Ontario," said Geoff Coulson, a warning preparedness meteorologist at Environment Canada in an interview with Craig Norris on The Morning Edition Tuesday.

"Sometimes when these patterns set up they can be particularly stubborn and unfortunately it looks like that's the case that we're going to be living through the next few weeks at least," he said. 

Coulson says that according to the long-term forecast models he has seen, the cold will stick around for the rest of February and much of March.

"We are expecting a continuation of colder than normal conditions, not necessarily the same depth of cold that we've been experiencing recently and that we'll experience over the next few days, but definitely below where we should be for this time of year," he said. 

The long-term average temperature for February in Waterloo Region is around - 5 C, said Coulson. But the year's weather means that average has dropped.

"So far this month, our average temperature has been an incredible -13.1 C. So we're well below where we should be for this time of year," he said. 

The average monthly temperature is also lower than what it was in February 2014, which was - 11.8 C.


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