Extreme cold warnings issued as bitter temperatures grip Alberta

·2 min read
Time to hunker down. Communities across Alberta are contending with a bitterly cold forecast.  (CBC/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Time to hunker down. Communities across Alberta are contending with a bitterly cold forecast. (CBC/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Furnaces rattled and icy truck engines choked to life across the province Friday as Albertans awoke to another bitterly cold morning.

While there is relief in sight, much of Alberta remains in a deep freeze.

Extreme cold warnings from Environment Canada remain in effect in communities across the northern half of the province, following days of bitter temperatures.

According to the agency, extreme wind chill values will continue to affect most of central and northern Alberta Friday morning.

The biting cold will make the air feel like it's between -40 C and -45 C. And Environment Canada is warning that people exposed to the elements could develop frostbite in minutes.

"Extreme cold puts everyone at risk," the agency says.

"Dress warmly. Dress in layers that you can remove if you get too warm."

In Edmonton, the temperature will hover around -19 C on Friday but the wind will make it feel like it's -40 C this morning and -26 C this afternoon.

The city has activated its extreme weather plan, opening emergency shelter space for people experiencing homelessness and relying city buses to shuttle people to the sites as needed.

On Friday, many schools districts in surrounding communities decided it was too cold for children to wait for the bus.

Further north, the cold spell has been more severe.

Environment Canada
Environment Canada

In Fort McMurray, the sun will be shining but Friday is only expected to reach a high of -25 C with a wind chill of -40 C Friday morning and -33 C by the afternoon.

Wind chills as low as -50 C were expected in the Peace region in northwestern Alberta.

Environment Canada expects Alberta to thaw out, at least a little bit, by the end of the week.

"Rising temperatures will bring an end to these extremely cold wind chills by this weekend," Environment Canada said.

As of 7 a.m., here are the communities are an extreme cold warning:

  • Airdrie - Cochrane - Olds - Sundre

  • City of Edmonton - St. Albert - Sherwood Park

  • Drayton Valley - Devon - Rimbey - Pigeon Lake

  • Drumheller - Three Hills

  • Fort Chipewyan - Wood Buffalo National Park

  • Fort McMurray - Fort MacKay

  • Fort Saskatchewan - Vegreville - Redwater - Smoky Lake

  • Grande Prairie - Beaverlodge - Valleyview

  • Hanna - Coronation - Oyen

  • High Level - Rainbow Lake - Fort Vermilion - Mackenzie Hwy

  • Hinton - Grande Cache

  • Leduc - Camrose - Wetaskiwin - Tofield

  • Nordegg - Forestry Trunk Road Highway 734

  • Peace River - Fairview - High Prairie - Manning

  • Red Deer - Ponoka - Innisfail - Stettler

  • Rocky Mountain House - Caroline

  • Slave Lake

  • Spruce Grove - Morinville - Mayerthorpe - Evansburg

  • Wabasca - Peerless Lake - Gift Lake - Cadotte Lake

  • Westlock - Barrhead - Athabasca

  • Whitecourt - Edson - Fox Creek - Swan Hills

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