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Temperatures in Calgary drop further this week

Temperatures in Calgary drop further this week
Temperatures in Calgary drop further this week

Today is expected to be one of the coldest days so far this winter, but meteorologists predict Calgary will get even colder this week.

According to Environment Canada forecasts, temperatures will drop to -37 C on Friday before the cold spell is over.

The cold is so severe that it threatens to break all recent weather records.

“Normally we get cold spells like this in January and February in Alberta, but we haven’t had cold like this in about 20 years,” said Alyssa Pederson, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

The expected maximum daytime temperature for Friday is -31 C. The last maximum daytime temperature below -30 C occurred on January 27, 2004.

Pederson says Calgary is expected to experience temperatures in the mid-40s on Friday or Saturday morning, while wind-prone areas around the city could experience temperatures as low as -50.

Windchill is an approximate measure of how cold it feels in cold, windy weather. The figures are based on the effects of wind speed and low temperatures on the skin.

“At wind temperatures this low, you can get frostbite in under a minute,” Pederson said.

“Wear appropriate clothing, cover all skin if possible, and dress in layers.”

According to Pederson, the falling temperatures are caused by a high-pressure area in the Arctic that is pushing polar air from the Northwest Territories into Alberta.

For people who need support to get out of the cold, 425 shelter spaces have opened in various locations, according to the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

According to the CHA, the shelters have sufficient capacity to accommodate an increasing demand for beds.

Friday’s forecast high of -31°C would be the coldest daily high in Calgary in the past two decades.

Friday’s forecast high of -31 C would be the coldest daily high in Calgary in the past 20 years. (Helen Pike/CBC)

AMA says longer wait times for service

According to the Alberta Motor Association, reports of dead batteries can increase sixfold in extreme cold.

Due to the large number of requests, waiting times for roadside assistance are also increasing.

AMA chief instructor Mark Pasternak advises drivers to use synthetic oil, plug in their cars two to three hours before starting and be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

“Bring extra gloves, jackets, snow pants and some clean socks in case you need them,” he said.

“If you have an emergency kit, that’s ideal. If something really goes wrong, you at least have something to support you.”

Pasternak also said that braving the cold and thoroughly cleaning your vehicle is an important part of driving safely during extreme winter conditions.

He said people who can’t reach an AMA employee can request assistance through the AMA website or app.

Ski area closed for safety reasons

The cold has forced WinSport to close the ski and snowboard slope at Canada Olympic Park until Friday.

The canceled tours this week were a sign to press pause, said communications manager Dale Oviatt.

“If the school groups decide not to come, that’s an important part of our business,” he said.

“They have a lower threshold… (but) if they cancel, we use that as one of the measuring sticks.”

But a few days without skiers isn’t all bad news for the park.

“We were a little behind in our snowmaking, but this solution allows us to make snow 24/7,” said Oviatt.

“If it is -20 to -25 degrees, we can make more snow in a shorter period of time.”

WinSport will decide on Thursday whether it is safe to reopen the hill for the weekend.

According to Environment Canada, temperatures could rise again to a maximum of -7 C on Monday.