Extreme cold alert as freezing temperatures sweep Edmonton
The city is urging Edmonton residents to brace for extremely cold weather, with temperatures expected to remain in the minus 20s today and Thursday, with wind chill readings feeling like -40C.
The extreme cold warning applies to Edmonton, St Albert and Sherwood Park – and to all of northern Alberta and much of the south-eastern part of the province, including the Lloydminster and Coronation areas.
Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning early Wednesday.
Temperatures will drop to -29C overnight in Edmonton and the cold will last through Thursday before warming up on Friday and heading into a much warmer weekend.
Wind chill will make it feel as cold as -40C overnight Wednesday through Thursday morning.
Environment Canada weather forecaster Brian Proctor said although temperatures will rise over the weekend, the long-term forecast for March doesn’t offer much relief.
“At this point, if we look at our long-term guidance for March, it still looks like it’s underseason at this point,” Proctor said in an interview Wednesday.
He attributed the cold snaps to air flowing into northern Canada and Alberta from the North Pole and Siberia.
Proctor urged Albertans to be prepared for the cold by keeping an eye out for vulnerable community members and always carrying a winter safety kit, especially when traveling.
For people who must be outside, Environment Canada recommends dressing warm by wearing layers and windproof clothing.
Signs of overexposure to cold include shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness, and discoloration of fingers and toes.
Scott Steier, owner of TradeMasters HVAC Services, said that keeping on top of furnace maintenance is the key to avoiding problems during extreme cold snaps.
“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been changing this filter, just change it to be sure,” Steier said.
“One of our biggest annoyances is just dirty filters. A lot of people forget them and should change them once a month.”
He said furnace filters typically cost $10 to $40 to replace, which he says is worth it to avoid more expensive problems in the future and to keep homes heated during extreme weather.
Late last week, the City of Edmonton activated its Extreme Weather Response to protect vulnerable people in the cold weather. The measure came into effect on Monday and will apply until 6 p.m. on Sunday
Edmonton Transit offers special night service on three bus lines. Buses stop at all bus stops to pick up passengers who need to get out of the cold.
Showers and other aids are available at the Bissell Center and Boyle Street Community Services.
Boyle Street operates a winter warming bus. The city’s Campment Response Team is conducting wellness checks. All public library sites and recreation facilities are open for warming purposes.