Majority of East Coast under an extreme cold warning for serious deep freeze

An Arctic airmass slicing through Atlantic Canada on Friday has prompted a region-wide extreme cold warning for the dangerously cold conditions.

While it's only expected to be a two-day event, the plunging temperatures and gusty northwest winds will pack a serious punch into Saturday. The plunging temperatures even forced some schools to close Friday morning.

"Cover up," says Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in the widespread warning. "Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill."

MUST SEE: 3000 km Arctic front to plunge millions in Canada, U.S. into deep freeze

Windchill values of -35 to -40 are expected to develop Friday night and will persist into Saturday morning before beginning to moderate Saturday afternoon as winds subside.

Some places in Nova Scotia will be close to seeing their coldest February temperature on record.

On Saturday, temperatures in Halifax, N.S., are forecast for -17°C.


The last time it was this cold in Halifax, the price of regular gasoline was 88 cents. If the temperatures drop another two degrees it could even challenge some all-time records.

FORECAST: Fickle February: Hit and run winter continues to lack commitment

Many all-time record wind chills will also be challenged as the severe cold settles in.

WATCH: How to layer properly in extreme cold

Click here to view the video

Temperatures in Newfoundland will likely remain above -20°C for the most part, but will plunge to below -40°C for inland Labrador.

Arctic fronts often generate powerful frontal snow squalls as well, so localized whiteouts are possible as this convective feature crosses the Maritimes on Friday. Drivers should be prepared for periods of snow and blowing snow.


Water temperatures are running above average, which will enhance the snow squalls and the potential for whiteouts.

As fast as the temperatures plunge, they will warm up just as rapidly. By Sunday, a milder flow off the Atlantic Ocean takes hold, driving temperatures up to near the freezing mark along coastal Nova Scotia.

Be sure to check back for the latest weather updates across Atlantic Canada.