Canada’s northern regions will face the wrath of a polar vortex that has caused wind chills to plummet to as low as -70 C. Yes, -70.
Such temperatures make those regions of Canada colder than Mars, which has an average annual temperature of around -62 C.
Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold weather alert for the town of Kugaaruk, Nunavut, which currently sits right in the heart of the polar vortex. People have been advised to stay indoors, especially younger children, older adults, individuals with chronic illnesses and outdoor workers due to high risks of hypothermia and freezing.
“Watch for cold related symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes,” said Environment Canada.
Canada’s southern regions may not have it as bad but are still affected to a significant degree. Parts of Manitoba will hit with wind chills as low as -34 C, while northern Ontario and northern Quebec are going to see temperatures of around -45 C and -60 C, respectively.
“The displacement of the polar vortex in more southern latitudes has meant some extreme cold for areas in northern Canada and even down to the south,” says meteorologist Erin Wenckstern.
In contrast, Atlantic Canada is experiencing warmer temperatures, with regions like Halifax showing highs of 9 C. Such represents a 60-degree temperature difference compared to parts of northern Canada.