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The Never-ending (Cold) Story: Why has February been so frigid?

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 12:29 PM -

When even B.C. is breaking cold-temperature records, you know it's a cold winter in Canada.

In fact, it's sub-zero from coast to coast this weekend - no real shock on its own, given the fact that we are almost halfway through January, but the cold has been below seasonal in many places, with cold temperature records being broken on Friday.

B.C. right now is bracing for some February snow, on the heels of temperatures which on Friday alone were record-breaking cold.

It was no warmer during the week. On Thursday, Vancouver's airport recorded a low of -8.3°C, breaking a temperature record dating all the way back to 1948.

Neighbouring Alberta, also in the deep freeze, with many cold temperature records falling as the mercury plunged well into the minus double-digit realm.

While Ontario and the Maritimes have had their share of frigid weather, it wasn't quite as cold as western Canada this past week, although people in those provinces had their own problems, in the form of storms that brought record-breaking February snow totals to several cities, as well as at Toronto's Pearson Airport.

Still, thanks to earlier cold temperatures last month, as well as the current cooldown, some of the the Great Lakes are slowly, but surely, approaching maximum ice cover.

In fact, Lake Superior is reaching a 92 per cent ice cover - a stone's throw away from its first virtual ice-up since 1996, and well above the 40-year February average of just 30 per cent.

Lake Ontario, however, remains relatively clear still, but even that is bringing its own problems, since the open water has been contributing to major snow squalls in the area, driven inland by straight-line winds.

The area of Picton, Ont., was actually under a snow squall watch until late morning Saturday, and much of the south of Ontario is on track for a frigid weekend, topped off with a couple additional centimetres of snow.


TUNE IN: We'll have regular updates on Canada's frigid February on TV throughout the day.


Man dies after being pinned beneath snow removal truck at Pearson
Below seasonal temperatures continue across southern Ontario

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