Edmonton, Alta., is living a real-life Rick Mercer skit -- except without a hopeful thaw in the seven-day trend or even the 14-day outlook.
Edmonton is no stranger to lengthy stretches of temperatures perpetually below the freezing mark, but since Nov. 27, it hasn't spent a minute above it.
The city is quickly climbing the ranks of the most notorious cold snaps in history. The climate record is deep, extending back to 1880. By next weekend, Edmonton will have the fourth-longest sub-zero streak in city history, with no signs of the freeze wavering. It's also been 42 days, and counting with a low below -10°C, a similar stretch hit in 2019.
Cities just to the south have benefited from thaws. Take Calgary, for example, which hit nearly 10°C on Jan 6. Downsloping winds and mild Pacific air help cities farther south, closer to the mountains, but Edmonton is entrenched in a typical La Niña pattern.
The problem right now is Edmonton's average daytime high of -8°C, so we need a significant, above-normal air mass to sweep in. Unfortunately, models argue for near-normal temperatures to continue, indefinitely -- making this one of the lengthiest freezes on record for Edmonton.
Toronto, Ont., on the other hand, just wrapped up its second-longest streak above the 0°C during the December-February period. Talk about a polar opposite.