- In recent days, the bone-chilling cold that has engulfed parts of northern and western Canada has tightened its grip on the region.
- A temperature of less than -51°C (-59.8°F) has been recorded in Canada for the first time in eight years.
On December 26, around 2:00 p.m. EST, a temperature of -51.1°C was recorded in Rabbit Kettle, Northwest Territories, while Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, became the warmest spot in the country balmy 4.6°C (40.3°F), resulting in a national range of nearly 56 degrees.
The last time a temperature in Canada fell below -51°C was in Eureka, Nunavut, in February 2013. However, because northern Canada has a limited number of weather stations, some areas may have experienced even colder temperatures that were not officially recorded.
Other Canadian weather stations, such as those in Watson Lake, Yukon, Deadmen Valley, Northwest Territories, recorded temperatures as low as -47°C on December 26 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Temperatures in these areas could quickly feel like -50 or -60 with the wind chill.
These freezing temperatures are out of the ordinary for northern Canada, where temperatures typically range from -10°C to -30°C during the last week of December.
The only other planet experiencing extreme cold is Jakutsk, Russia, where temperatures range from -40°C to -50°C.
A portion of the polar vortex that drifted south from the North Pole has remained over these areas in Canada, causing temperatures to plummet.
This week, major cities in the southern Prairies are expected to experience widespread wind chill values in the -the 30s and -40s. Frostbite can occur in 10-30 minutes when the wind chill value is between -28 and -39 degrees Celsius. Residents of the Northern Territories and Prairie provinces should plan on spending as little time outside as possible, as frostbite can occur in 10-30 minutes when the wind chill value is between -28 and -39 degrees Celsius.
According to forecasters, a possible pattern reversal could arrive in early 2022, bringing some relief from the dangerous cold.
While parts of Canada are experiencing historically cold weather, many other parts of the world are experiencing hot temperatures. For example, according to the US National Weather Service, Rio Grande Valley, Texas, recorded a high of 34.4°C (94°C) on December 25, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Christmas Day in the United States. Several Texas and mid-Mississippi Valley areas have also recently experienced hot temperatures.