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Environment Canada: current frigidness a calendar anomaly

By SmartCoverage Team on December 28th, 2017

If you've been having a tough time handling this ungodly streak of frigid weather, Environment Canada has some information you may be comforted by.

According to the government agency, a sustained, far-reaching cold spell like this one is historically rare for this particular time of year.

"The size of this cold wave in terms of geographical distribution is quite exceptional for this early in the winter season," said meteorologist Alexandre Parent. "What's also exceptional is the duration of this episode."

Cities across Canada have been experiencing record or near-record temperature lows and making all sorts of adjustments to deal with the unexpected harshness. Windsor smashed its previous record by 2.4 degrees while Sarnia obliterated its own by 5.2 degrees. Organizers of the Bell Capital Cup, an international youth hockey tournament currently taking place in Ottawa (which also currently holds the distinction of being the coldest federal capital in the world), relocated all of its outdoor matches to indoor arenas.

Parent had to go back to 1993 to isolate a similarly widespread cold spell during these calendar dates, but even that one didn't have the staying power that this one has displayed.

"The last few years we had one or two days of cold weather, but usually those were compensated by a few days near zero which is not the case this year," he said. "It's the span of days with ten to fifteen degrees below normal which are exceptional."

With current conditions expected to more or less stick around until the weekend, it's important for everyone to be especially vigilant and attentive to weather-related factors in their homes and on the roads. Warmer times are ahead in 2018, but making it through 2017 is the first step.

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