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Frigid cold and extreme wind chills being felt across much of Manitoba


Manitobans are going to want to bundle up on Monday morning as much of the province is experiencing freezing temperatures.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), has issued extreme cold warnings for many Manitoba communities in both the north and south, including Brandon, Winnipeg and Thompson. 

According to ECCC, temperatures in the -30s combined with 10 to 20 km/h winds are bringing wind chill values between -40 and -50.

In the warnings for southern Manitoba, the weather agency says that the wind chills will moderate slightly during the day on Monday. It adds that some regions may be on the cusp of the extreme cold criteria on Monday night, with some communities seeing slightly warmer temperatures. However, by Tuesday night, the temperatures will dip back into the extreme cold range for southern Manitoba.

“We’ll have some sort of moderation during the day and we’ll probably pop out of that -40 range, which is what triggers the extreme cold,” said ECCC meteorologist Terri Lang.

“But again at night it settles back in.”

Lang added it looks like a system will ripple through Wednesday night into Thursday, with the cloud warming up temperatures.

“It kind of acts like a little blanket. We may get a dusting of snow with that, a centimetre or two, and then back into the cold,” she said

Lang noted that it looks like Friday will be our coldest day, but then Manitoba is expected to return to more seasonal temperatures.

ECCC is warning Manitobans that everyone is at risk from the extreme cold. Residents are advised to watch out for cold-related symptoms, including shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, and numbness and colour change in your fingers and toes.

Manitobans are advised to cover up, as frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, and to keep your pets safe.


For Manitobans who have heard we are in a polar vortex right now Lang said this is untrue.

She explained the polar vortex is something that exists in the upper atmosphere.

“It’s always there. It’s always around the Poles, there’s one in the South Pole and one in the North Pole,” she said.

“It swirls around. It’s a very cold air mass. It deepens in the winter, because there’s no sunshine to warm up the air.”

Lang said what Manitoba is actually seeing is really deep and heavy Arctic air that is common for this time of year. She added that this air has been sitting in the Arctic with no sunshine.

“When it moves down across the Prairies, it really does make it very cold,” she said.

Lang said the other compounding factor is the wind chill. She noted this doesn’t impact the temperature, but is an index to explain how fast your body will lose heat when the wind chill is high.

“It’s a ‘feels like’ equivalent. So people should use it that way,” Lang said.

“The higher the wind chill, the faster your bodies going to lose heat and the more you have to get yourself prepared for that cold if you’re venturing outside.”


Amid the freezing temperatures this weekend, CAA Manitoba saw more call for service than usual.

On Friday, the association received 398 calls, on Saturday it got 483 calls for service, and on Sunday it received 608 calls. On a normal day, it gets about 350 calls.

According to a spokesperson, the majority of the calls this weekend were battery-related.

CAA expects to get even more calls starting on Monday as people head to work. Manitobans who park outside are reminded to plug in their vehicles, and to be patient with CAA.

- With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube. Top Stories

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