Bitter cold in city to continue, with little relief in sight
Calgarians living under an extreme cold warning should feel some relief in the coming days, but it won’t be much.An Environment Canada meteorologist said a preliminary forecast suggests next week won’t be much warmer than the immediate seven-day freeze-frame.“Looking ahead, I suspect we’ll be seeing more next week of what we’ll get at the end of this week,” said Kyle Fougere. “The pattern doesn’t seem to change too, too much.”The week that began with flurries and a high of -21 C, but with a wind chill of -35 C. It is expected to moderate slightly but will still remain far colder than the norm for this time of year — a maximum daily temperature of 0 C.It comes as winds have driven temperatures in some parts of the province to the dangerous equivalent of -50 C.Tuesday’s high is expected to reach -17 C but the wind will make it feel more like -24 C, according to Environment Canada.It’s those kinds of conditions that have led to an extreme cold warning from the federal agency, which includes cautions about frostbite, hypothermia and the welfare of pets.Through to Sunday, the mercury isn’t forecast to budge any higher than the mid-minus teens with the frostiest day expected to be Saturday’s -17 C.Overnight lows are expected to linger around the -20 C mark or slightly below.A chance of flurries Thursday and Friday is also in the forecast.On Monday morning, mechanical problems dogged CTrain service and bad weather slowed buses a day after power outages shut down the 7th Avenue train line.That intense cold had Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) bracing for a power consumption record that could surpass the mark of 11,697 MW set on Jan. 11, 2018.“People are using more of their appliances, heaters, turning up their power,” said AESO spokeswoman Tara Deweerd.A week ago, due to some of Alberta’s generation being off-line, the province had to import energy from B.C., Montana and Saskatchewan, but that shouldn’t be required now, she said.On Monday, a light overnight snow added to slippery driving conditions leading to 129 collisions reported to city police between midnight and noon, 11 of those involving injuries.On average, December was 3.7 C above the norm while January saw temperatures 5.8 C warmer, said Environment Canada’s Fougere.“The problem is, it was so warm for so long, it’s gotten unbearable,” he said. “It’s been well below normal for almost all of February.”A stubborn Arctic system has stalled over Alberta with little in the forecast to dislodge it, he said.“Once you get that cold Arctic air entrenched in the province, it’s hard to push it out,” said Fougere.
Jana McDonald keeps her dogs Lacey, left, and Joe warm by layering them with some extra clothes, at Eau Claire, as the city remained in a deep freeze on Monday. Tuesday’s high is expected to reach -17 C but the wind will make it feel more like -24 C.
D.J. Douglas creates his own mini blizzard as he clears overnight snow on a cold Monday afternoon.
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