Saskatchewan is experiencing its first blast of arctic air for the winter, with four temperature records broken and another tied Thursday morning as a result.
Nipawin dropped to –29.9 C, breaking its old record by a full degree. Outlook and Rosetown broke their old records by nearly two degrees, hitting –26.3 C and –29.0 C respectively. Meanwhile Kindersley hit a new all-time low of –28.9 C.
Saskatoon tied its old record of –28.9 C.
All of the old records were set in or before 1945, with the oldest being Saskatoon's, which was set in 1902.
Similar cold is expected Thursday night into Friday morning, with central Saskatchewan bearing the brunt once again.
Overnight lows are expected to drop to between –25 C and –30 C. Wind chills will makes conditions feel like they're into the –30s. Frostbite will be possible in just minutes.
The cold is fairly unusual for this time of year. Kindersley and Rosetown's high of –18 C on Wednesday was nearly 20C below normal. Both Regina and Saskatoon were about 15 C below normal Wednesday, as well.
A trough in the upper atmosphere dragging down arctic air, reinforced by intense high pressure at the surface, caused this cold snap.
High pressure will dissipate by early Friday, just in time for a ridge in the upper atmosphere to move in, bringing a slow but steady warm-up to the province.
Temperatures could be back into the minus single digits by early next week, but that will come along with cloudier conditions and possible light snowfall.