Many headed to their first day back to work of 2017 were greeted with a blast of arctic air Tuesday.
With windchill dragging temperatures down to -41 C, Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning Monday night, which was lifted shortly before noon Tuesday.
“There’s a cold arctic ridge that’s pushing down through the western Prairies and bringing with it a lot of cold air,” said meteorologist Bryan Van Wilgenburg.
Van Wilgenburg said temperatures were expected to remain below seasonal through the rest of the week.
He said a slight warm-up beginning early next week would likely bring snow.
In the area around Saskatoon, the cold weather caused Prairie Spirit School Division to cancel school bus service.
The division reported that buses for the Leask, Duck Lake and Blaine Lake schools were expected to run, but would be unable to use their wheelchair lifts due to the cold.
The division noted parents can call their bus hotline at 306-683-2805 to find out if buses are running.
Cold boosts furnace calls in Saskatoon
The cold weather is also putting stress on furnaces and the people who fix them.
“It’s been difficult to definitely keep up with the demand of no-heat calls,” said Jim Gregg, general manager of Gregg’s Home Services in Saskatoon.
Gregg said equipment works harder in cold weather and becomes more prone to breakdowns.
That’s why preventative maintenance, such as getting a furnace or boiler inspected twice a year, can save owners a lot of headache and money come winter time, Gregg said.
A plugged air filter is one of the most common calls they receive.
“It’s out of sight, out of mind. They don’t really think about it. That filter needs to be clean so it circulates air throughout the house.”
Gregg said calls from members who pay a monthly fee are given first priority, but so far they’ve been able to accommodate everyone the same day.
– With files from 650 CKOM’s Brent Bosker.