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Warning lifted for Waterloo Region after record-breaking extreme cold snap

Last Updated Jan 7, 2018 at 8:12 am EDT


It’s a cold snap that Environment Canada describes as ‘noteworthy’, as nearly two weeks of extreme cold took hold of most of the province and country.

Here in Waterloo Region – we set three new weather records since December 27th, when we smashed a historical low that held the title for a century.

Just before midnight on the last Wednesday of 2017, the region hit an overnight low of minus 24 degrees – obliterating a record of minus 20, set way back in 1917.

The bitter Arctic air ramped up again for New Year’s Eve and Day, as historical lows were once again recorded.

Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Geoff Coulson  says this latest blast of extreme cold is nothing short of unprecedented.

“This particular cold snap is certainly noteworthy, as it’s something we haven’t seen in decades. In fact, with the forecast calling for a wind chill of minus 42 Friday night … I don’t know if we’ve ever had a wind chill that low at our observation sites in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. The previous coldest wind chill I could find was minus 40 back on January 17th of 1982.”

It was frigid overnight Friday – but not cold enough to be a record-breaker. Waterloo Region hit a low of minus 24.3, wind chill of minus 33 around 4 a.m. Saturday, with temperatures dipping below that later in the morning. It wasn’t enough to beat the old record low of minus 26.1 though, which was set way back in 1945.

There is some good news though – as an extreme cold warning has now been lifted for Waterloo Region and our surrounding areas, and this bitterly cold air will be coming to an end by Monday.

“We’re forecasting a return to seasonal temperatures for much of next week, with highs between minus 2 or minus 4. There is a possibility that we’ll see some cold weather return late next week, but not to the same intensity that we’re experiencing right now,” said Coulson.

The special weather statement has also ended for Guelph, Erin, Arthur, Mount Forest, Northern Wellington County, and Southern Wellington County.

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