SW Ontario gripped in deep freeze, but falls short of record
Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 3:35 PM - UPDATE: The cold record was within reach for Windsor Wednesday, but the lobe of the polar vortex was hung up just west of the city, which created a rather unique scenario.
When Environment Canada keeps track of temperature records they use a standardized universal time -- so a meteorological day follows 6z-6z (1am ET to 1am ET). The unusual scenario allowed Windsor to hit its 'maximum' daily high at 1 a.m. ET Wednesday at -17.8°C, which makes it the 5th coldest day in the city's history.
However, if you look at it more closely, and unofficially, these temperatures in the -20s in the afternoon are some of the coldest air the city has ever had during this time period.
So, even though it will go down in the record books as the 5th coldest January 30th on record, you'll have a hard time convincing a local that it deserves a 5th place finish, especially with the wind chill values touching the -40's by early Thursday morning.
LAST UPDATED: Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 8:34 AM - A lobe of the polar vortex has descended over extreme southwestern Ontario with its lingering chill lasting well into Friday. What's the big deal? Well, all-time record minimum high temperatures are expected to be at least challenged on Wednesday for parts of southern Ontario. That includes the city of Windsor, which could set an all-time coldest day record.
The 24 hour darkness on the highest latitudes foster the coldest air in the world. On Tuesday, the true arctic air sliced across Manitoba, and then dipped unusually far south towards the Great Lakes.
The centre of the cold upper trough has been plopped over northern Michigan, so temperatures are not expected to rise throughout Wednesday, and will even likely fall throughout the day in some locations.
These temperatures are life-threatening, especially when paired with even modest amounts of wind, pushing the feels like values towards the -40's. That prompted Environment Canada to issue a widespread extreme cold warning.
"Cover up," says EC. "Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill."
A slow moderation is expected to occur by Friday afternoon.
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