Ottawa's extreme cold warning finally ends — but here comes the snow

It cancelled outdoor hockey games and put a damper on New Year's Eve celebrations. Now, Ottawa's extreme cold warning has lifted — only to be replaced with three days of snow in the forecast.

4 cm could fall today as Environment Canada lifts cold warning

Skaters brave frigid conditions on the Parliament Hill skating rink on Dec. 29, 2017. After being in place for six days, an extreme cold warning in Ottawa has finally been lifted. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Environment Canada issued another winter weather advisory Tuesday as flurries moved into the Ottawa-Gatineau area. 

As much as four centimetres could fall on the city today, and Environment Canada is forecasting a strong chance of more snow Wednesday and Thursday.

Drivers are being warned that road conditions could be difficult as the snow accumulates. 

Environment Canada lifted its extreme cold warning for Ottawa just before 11 a.m. Tuesday, as the temperature hovered around –21 C and the wind made it feel more like –29.

The warning had been in place since the morning of Dec. 27.

The weather agency had blamed the cold weather on a polar vortex: a phenomenon in which a large pocket of dense arctic air blasts freezing air over a region, sometimes for days at a time.

According to the agency's weather data, the lowest temperature during the six-day stretch was recorded on New Year's Day, when the thermometer plummeted to –30.2 C.

(That's before accounting for wind chill, by the way.)

People celebrating New Year's Eve huddle around the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill. The extreme cold warning forced a number of New Year's Eve events on the Hill to be cancelled. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)