If you thought it was cold out already, brace yourself – it’s about to get even colder.
The weather is expected to turn downright nasty Wednesday following a cold Tuesday across Saskatchewan that saw temperatures in the -30s C and wind chill values in the -40s C.
Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning for Saskatoon shortly after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The warnings covered the majority of the province – completely blanketing southern and central Saskatchewan, along with parts of the north.
“We are looking at wind chills getting down to around -45 C, maybe even lower than that,” said John Paul Cragg, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.
“We’re looking at very extreme wind chills where exposed skin can freeze in under five minutes. So very dangerous conditions.”
On Wednesday, the temperature in Saskatoon is expected to reach a high somewhere in the range of -12 C, with the added winds bringing in extreme wind chill values.
Cragg said it’s quite unusual to see high wind gusts when combined with cold January temperatures. Normally, cold air involves an area of high pressure and wind doesn’t become a factor.
“We just happen to have a ‘Mackenzie low’ sliding down from the Northwest Territories through Saskatchewan and, accompanying that, very cold air. The combination will make for very dangerous conditions outside,” Cragg added.
The meteorologist also urged people to think of their pets during these cold stretches.
“If they can flush the toilet that would be the best thing,” he joked. “You definitely don’t want to leave them outside for long.”
According to Environment Canada, a fast-moving weather system will bring milder air into the area Wednesday afternoon and evening, however, it will be accompanied by light and blowing snow.
More extreme cold conditions are likely in the wake of this system on Thursday morning.
The cold snap is expected to clear up on Friday to -13 C, with temperatures for the next seven reaching as high as -1 C.
“It will be way nicer that you can shovel,” he said. “The bright light is ahead soon.”
Buses for both Saskatoon Public Schools and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools were scheduled to run within Saskatoon Wednesday.
School buses serving École Canadienne-Française in Saskatoon were cancelled.
First Student cancelled its rural and wheelchair routes.
Hertz cancelled its Whitecap Dakota and St. Matthews routes.
Prairie Spirit School division reported that all buses were cancelled, except for those serving Blaine Lake. Duck Lake and Leask schools. Those buses were scheduled to run, but without the use of their wheelchair lifts.