Wind chills in northern Sask. could plunge to 'bone-chilling' –54 C this weekend

People in northern Saskatchewan are being warned about “hazardous frostbite conditions” from freezing wind chills as low as –54 C.

Environment Canada says extreme cold could cause 'hazardous frostbite' in minutes

Environment Canada is urging people in northern Saskatchewan to cover up and protect themselves from biting, extreme cold this weekend. (Trevor Aikman/CBC)

People in northern Saskatchewan are being warned about "hazardous frostbite conditions" from freezing wind chills making the temperature feel like –54 C.

Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning for northern communities starting Saturday, cautioning residents that frostbite could occur in minutes.

In Stony Rapids, temperatures are forecast to creep as low as –​43 C, with the wind chill expected to make it feel like –54 C overnight.

Freezing temperatures will also settle over Fond-du-Lac First Nation, but Chief Louis Mercredi said his community is used to extreme weather.

Bone-chilling but good for ice roads

He said northern residents often welcome cold weather because it is good for the ice roads — the only land-based transportation in and out of his community.
Fond-du-Lac First Nation Chief Louis Mercredi says northern Saskatchewan people are well-adapted and prepared for extreme cold. (CBC)

"It's bone-chilling weather, I tell you that, if you're not adapted to it, it's going to be cold if you're not dressed for it or used to it," said Mercredi. 

"We don't have no safe shelters or nothing, we just live in a small little isolated community but you know the doors are always open for each other."

Mercredi expects people will still go about their chores such as hunting, hauling water and chopping wood, despite the extreme cold. 

"I was going to go [hunting] yesterday but it got a little too cold, I bailed out," he laughed Saturday afternoon.

Warnings in place

Warnings were in place for the following areas on Saturday afternoon:

  • Cree Lake - Key Lake.
  • Fond-du-Lac - Stony Rapids.
  • Southend - Brabant Lake - Kinoosao.
  • Wollaston Lake - Collins Bay.
  • Uranium City - Camsell Portage.

"Extreme windchill values of –45 or less will continue over northern Saskatchewan through the weekend," said a warning from Environment Canada.

"Although values will moderate in the afternoon hours, windchills will plunge during the night. Extreme cold puts everyone at risk."

Residents are also being urged to keep their pets inside.

For up-to-date information visit the Environment Canada website.