MEDICINE HAT, AB -- Medicine Hat is officially in its 10th day of far below seasonal temperatures, and most Hatters are eager to know when this cold snap will end.
Although the forecast has warmer temperatures in the minus mid teens in the next couple of days, right now there’s no end in site for the extreme cold.
Environment Canada says cold air outbreaks like this typically happen every winter, but this one has been longer.
“They’ve lasted weeks at times,” says Kyle Fougere, meteorologist, environment and climate change Canada. “So I’d say it’s not that unique but it is probably longer than average.”
The kind of weather system that typically warms us back to seasonal averages is nowhere to be seen.
“Once these cold air masses are in place, then it can be quite difficult to move them out so temperatures are going to mitigate a bit but I looked into next week and I didn’t necessarily see a pattern that really brought some warm air in,” says Fougere. “Normally you need a big low-pressure system to come through and bring in some westerly winds to try and get rid of this cold arctic air and I don’t see anything on the horizon.”
Medicine Hat remains under an extreme cold warning, issued by Environment Canada.
The warning is expected to end by Wednesday, when the city warms up to about -16.
However, that’s still 14 degrees below seasonal averages, with our daytime high usually sitting around -2, and nighttime lows near -12.
Environment Canada also urges anyone out travelling to be aware of the extreme temperatures.
“Anyone that’s travelling at this time to make sure they have a lot of cold weather gear in the car, maybe a candle,” says Fougere. “Just in case something goes wrong and to just be aware that it is extremely cold out and it can be threatening.”
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