Temperatures plummet as extreme cold envelopes Manitoba

The entire province of Manitoba has been plunged into dangerously cold temperatures.

Wind chill values of –40 to –50 across province

The extreme cold temperatures across Manitoba are expected to moderate Wednesday afternoon, but the daytime highs will remain between -24 C and -30 C, Environment Canada forecasts. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

The entire province of Manitoba has been plunged into dangerously cold temperatures.

An Arctic air mass spread through the province overnight, bringing wind chill values of –40 to –50 along with it.

"This is a two-day cold snap, and I stress the word 'cold,'" CBC meteorologist John Sauder said.

Strong winds blew in close to midnight, rattling windows and sending temperatures plummeting. There was a 23-degree change in Winnipeg in just 12 hours, going from –4 C at 6 p.m. Tuesday to –27 C by 6 a.m. Wednesday. 

Only the Sprague area, in Manitoba's far southeastern corner, is not under an extreme cold warning issued by Environment Canada.

Even so, the temperature in Sprague was a crisp –23 C with a wind chill that made it feel more like –36.

Exhaust fog spills from traffic on a cold Wednesday morning in Winnipeg. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Parts of southern Manitoba also got a dusting of snow late Tuesday, which has been whipped up by the winds and has reduced visibility. That, in turn, has prompted the closure of some highways in the province.

Up-to-date information on road conditions can be found on the province's website.

The extreme cold also can be hazardous to people's health. It can cause shortness of breath, muscle pain, numbness and exposed skin can freeze in five minutes, Environment Canada warns.

While the warnings are expected to be lifted by Wednesday afternoon, Environment Canada cautions people to continue to watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia because temperatures are still going to be brisk.

Winnipeg is expected to reach a high of only about –24 C.

Things will ease up a little on Thursday, but temperatures will still be far below normal for this time of year. The forecast is for a high of –19 C in Winnipeg that day with a wind chill of –38 in the morning and –26 in the afternoon.

The weekend is expected to bring temperatures around –11 C for Winnipeg, which is closer to the seasonal normal of –9 C.


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