Ottawa could see its coldest temperatures in years over the next few days as the polar vortex strengthens across the region.
A dangerous cold snap began Thursday night and is expected to last through Saturday. Environment Canada, extreme cold warning For regions where Thursday night wind chill values are expected to be between -40 and -45.
Environment Canada said: “Friday afternoons were milder, but temperatures are expected to return to near -40 degrees Celsius Friday night through Saturday morning.”
A severe cold warning covers all of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
Environment Canada issues extreme cold warnings when very cold temperatures and wind chill increase health risks such as frostbite and hypothermia.
Winter temperatures will be milder on Thursday. The Environment Canada weather forecast calls for cloudy skies and a maximum temperature of -2 C. This afternoon will be windy and the temperature will be close to -9 degrees.
Light rain in the early afternoon can lead to snowstorms, which can affect evening commutes.
A squall is possible this afternoon and evening with gusts of wind up to 50 kilometers per hour.
Wind gusts will pick up at times before fading Thursday night. Environment Canada requires total snowfall of 4 centimeters.
Temperatures drop on Thursday night
By Thursday evening, temperatures will drop dramatically, with overnight lows of -29C. The chill of the wind can make the temperature feel near -40 degrees, and you can get frostbite within minutes.
A high of -26 degrees is forecast for Friday, with chilly winds that will make it feel closer to -42 degrees. Sunny but gusty winds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.
Friday night will be sunny with temperatures dropping to minus 27 degrees overnight.
Environment Canada said: “Dress warmly. Wear layers that you can take off if you get too warm. Outer layers should be wind resistant.” Frostbite can develop on exposed skin within minutes.
Saturday will be sunny with a high of -17 degrees Celsius and a little warmer.
Temperatures will soar to below freezing on Sunday. The maximum temperature for the day is 1 degree Celsius and the chance of snow is 70%.