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Dangerously cold wind chills of -65 hit parts of Canada

Digital writers

Monday, February 12, 2018, 10:36 AM - Feeling like -70. Yes, you read that right. MINUS SEVENTY. Not even record breaking, Kugaaruk, Nunavut had a forecast wind chill of -70 Sunday night. Now, extreme cold warnings cover a wide swath of the country.

"A multi-day episode of severely cold wind chills continues," warns Environment Canada in an extreme cold alert issued for much of Nunavut early Monday. "The coldest wind chill values will be between minus 60 and minus 65."

Polar Vortex takes hold

"The displacement of the Polar Vortex in more southern latitudes has meant some extreme cold for areas in northern Canada and even down to the south," says Weather Network meteorologist Erin Wenckstern. "At the surface, it allows cold, arctic air to flood in in waves bringing extreme wind chills to parts of the southern Prairies."

Extreme cold warnings stretch across all three Prairie provinces as well as into northern Ontario with wind chill values between -40 and -45 and feeling closer to -60 in parts of northern Quebec. 

"Conditions will moderate through the morning as daytime temperatures rise," says EC, adding that "extreme cold puts everyone at risk."

"Risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter," warns EC. "Watch for cold related symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes."

Dressing warmly and in layers is also recommended in such extreme conditions with the outer clothing layer recommended to be wind resistant.

"Synthetic and wool fabrics provide good insulation," EC says. "Cover up. Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill."

Wintry pattern breaks down for Great Lakes region

The focus of the arctic air will be across western Canada over the next couple of weeks with a wintry week and weekend ahead for the Prairies.

"Meanwhile, the wintry pattern breaks down for the Great Lakes and southern Quebec," says Dr. Doug Gillham, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Much milder conditions are expected for the Great Lakes followed by a brief cool down at the end of the week with a system tracking south of the border Thursday night."

Much milder weather returns to the Great Lakes and southern Quebec for the upcoming Family Day weekend and for most of next week as well.

A 60 degree temperature difference 

Daytime highs in Atlantic Canada on Monday are approaching mild and spring-like double digit figures.

"In comparison, Halifax, Nova Scotia has a forecast high of 9oC on Monday, feeling pretty much about 60 degrees warmer than parts of northern Canada," Wenckstern says.

WATCH BELOW: Frozen puppy shakes as the rescuers try to warm her up

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