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BC, Alberta see record temperatures amid historic deep freeze

BC, Alberta see record temperatures amid historic deep freeze
BC, Alberta see record temperatures amid historic deep freeze

A rare, once-in-a-generation cold snap is hitting several regions of British Columbia and Alberta.

In Alberta, temperatures on Sunday morning once again reached levels last seen in a generation. Keg River hit a record low of -51.5°C, marking the second -50°C reading in Canada this season and the third in Alberta in two decades. The province’s first -50°C reading for this period was -52.0°C in Worsley in 2004.

Keg River Coldest Temperature Record Jan 14, 2024

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On Friday night, Edmonton recorded a frigid -45.8°C (-49.4°F), just a tenth of a degree milder than Thursday night. This was the fourth coldest night on record at the airport (1960-2024), with the last time such extreme cold was experienced on December 13, 2009, when the low was -46.1°C (-40.1°F).

As Saturday night approached, meteorologists had their eyes on the possibility that Edmonton would drop to its lowest temperature ever, either for the city or the airport. The current record was set on January 19, 1886, at -49.4°C.

Edmonton Airport Coldest Temperatures Record 14 Jan 2024

Not only did temperatures plummet overnight, but the daytime temperatures were also very cold. On Friday, Edmonton only reached -34.4°C, setting a new record for the coldest day at Edmonton International Airport.

The persistent extreme cold continued in Calgary. On Friday it was only -30.4°C. This was the coldest day in Calgary since February 1, 1989 (-31.9°C).

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Brutal conditions for British Columbia

Strong outflow moved toward the British Columbia coast on Thursday, causing traffic congestion and occasional snowfall along the Arctic front.

Vancouver Coldest Temperature Records Jan 14, 2024

Temperatures that lingered in the aftermath plummeted to levels not seen in decades. The wind chill at YVR Airport reached -24 on Friday, a feat not seen since December 29, 1968.

Victoria coldest temperature record 14 Jan 2024

The cold descended on Greater Victoria, resulting in an exceptionally unusual daytime temperature of -6.6°C, the coldest day in more than 50 years.

Temperatures inland were also truly exceptional, reaching dangerous levels. Sparwood, located in far southeastern British Columbia, dropped to -40.3, the coldest temperature ever recorded at that station since its inception in 1980.

At the Penticton weather station, temperatures dropped to -27.6°C, breaking an all-time record for cold temperatures. The station’s records go back to 1907.

Big warm-up in sight

Temperatures are forecast to rise by nearly 40 degrees over the next week, bringing Western Canada out of the freezing cold.

Alberta Temperatures Recover on January 14, 2024

Stay with The Weather Network for more forecast information and updates for your weather in Alberta and British Columbia