Pack it up, Calgary. It’s going to be cold.
Temperatures are expected to drop across Alberta over the coming week with overnight lows of -30 C, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Jesse Wagar.
“We have a system moving through the province today that is bringing some storm and wind,” Wagar said. “It’s moving from north to south, so it’s dragging all that cold Arctic air south.”
Areas east of Calgary are expected to be hit with snow and storms before the cold air descends across the province.
“We’re going into a week of very cold temperatures,” Wagar said.
The coldest temperatures will hit Calgary between Tuesday and Thursday. It could warm up in time for Christmas Day, but Wagar said it was too early to make any promises.
Overnight lows will be around -30C to -35C during those three very cold days, with daytime highs a bit warmer, but the wind chill will make it feel closer to -40C.
“It’s going to be a cold week for most of the province. Even Saskatchewan will see quite a cold snap, so strength in numbers I guess,” says Wagar.
The wind and Arctic air are also expected to reach parts of British Columbia and the northern United States.
To prepare, Wagar advises people to dress in layers, including a base layer, an insulating layer and wind and waterproof outer layer. Also watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
“Exposed skin will be subject to frostbite pretty quickly at those temperatures,” she said. “Frostnip is the first indication that you are in danger of seeing frostbite. This is when the area of your skin starts to become painful or numb.”
Those traveling for the holidays should be prepared with extra clothing, blankets and emergency supplies in their vehicles. Travelers should also keep abreast of weather warnings and road conditions.
On Friday, the high was -1 C in Calgary, with an overnight low of -23 C. Snow and local blowing snow is expected by Friday night, with about two centimeters of snow. Winds can reach up to 50 kilometers per hour near midnight.