All-time cold records fall on East Coast, but a big warmup ahead

Digital WritersThe Weather Network
Digital Writers

This weekend, parts of the Maritimes saw their coldest wind chills ever recorded. The pattern responsible for this dangerous cold is on its way out in a hurry.

The dangerous and record-breaking cold that’s blanketed Atlantic Canada for the past couple of days is on borrowed time.

Temperatures will rise in a hurry on Sunday as a ridge builds in, replacing the lobe of the polar vortex responsible for the all-time coldest wind chills ever recorded in communities like Halifax and Yarmouth.

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Many areas across the Maritimes set new daily temperature records Friday including Halifax Stanfield International Airport, which dipped to -25.6°C, beating out its previous low of -24.4°C (1971) for Feb. 3. The low temperature was its fourth-coldest on record in February.


The Halifax airport also saw its lowest wind chill on record early Saturday morning, with a bitter -43 recorded. This usurps its previous all-time wind chill of -41 that was set on Feb. 13, 1967.

Other record wind chills were set in the Maritimes Saturday morning.

East of Sussex, N.B, saw a frigid -50 wind chill. Saint John, N.B., recorded a whopping -47 wind chill, topping its previous record of -45 that was set in 1982. Yarmouth, N.S., saw a wind chill of -37, beating out -35 that was documented in 1982.

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The last time it was this cold in Halifax, the price of regular gasoline was 88 cents. If the temperatures drop another two degrees it could even challenge some all-time records.

As fast as the temperatures plunged, they will warm up just as rapidly.

By Sunday, a milder flow off the Atlantic Ocean will take hold, driving temperatures up to near or slightly above the freezing mark along coastal Nova Scotia.

Halifax will see a 29-degree shift by Sunday afternoon with daytime highs expected to jump to 3°C.

FORECAST: Fickle February: Hit and run winter continues to lack commitment


The next pulse of snow will move across the Maritimes by Sunday morning, with mixing possible in Halifax. Snow will ease for the Maritimes overnight Sunday, but snowy conditions will continue for Newfoundland into Monday before waning through the day.

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Be sure to check back for the latest weather updates across Atlantic Canada.