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Josh Classen’s forecast: Edmonton could get it’s coldest temperatures in over 50 years

The deep freeze is here and it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

In fact, we’re still not at the bottom of this cold spell. Friday-Sunday will all be colder than today.

The last time Edmonton hit -40 C was in 1972. We have a legitimate shot at hitting that temperature (or colder) in the coming days, especially Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Yes…yes…I know the weather station at Edmonton International Airport has hit -40 C or colder in more recent years, but it’s outside city limits. No station IN the city has hit -40 C since we got to -41.1 C on Jan. 26, 1972.

The coldest January temperatures in the past 50 years in Edmonton are:

  • -37.8 C on Jan. 19, 1996; and 
  • -36.7 C on Jan. 16, 2020.

We will VERY LIKELY get colder than that.

I think we’ll hold steady at around -28 C through today in Edmonton. But, a 10-15 km/h wind will produce wind chills in the -35 C to -40 C range.

That means frostbite is possible on exposed skin in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.

The wind backs off to about 5-10 km/h for Friday through Sunday. So, it won’t be a consistent all-day wind chill.

But, even at those wind speeds, wind chill will occasional hit the -40 to -50 range:

  • -30 with a 5 km/h wind = wind chill -36
  • -30 with a 10 km/h wind = wind chill -39
  • -40 with a 5 km/h wind = wind chill -47
  • -40 with a 10 km/h wind = wind chill -51

Outside of Edmonton, we’ll likely see temperatures in the -40 C to -45 C range Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.

IN the city, I have us at -36 C Friday morning and then right around -40 C for Saturday and Sunday mornings.

However…there’s a chance that’s too optimistic. There’s model output suggesting lows near -49 C and HIGHs in the -40s.

For what it’s worth…I don’t think that’ll happen. BUT…temperatures hitting the -40 C to -45 C are “POSSIBLE” in the city over the coming days.

When does it end?

The worst of the deep freeze is done by Monday, but we’ll still be in the -20 C to -30 C range Monday.

Tuesday should be our first day back into the minus teens.

There’s not much chance of temperatures returning to the -5 C to -10 C range before the end of next week.

 

Here’s the forecast for Edmonton and area:

Today – Mostly cloudy.

Wind: N 10-15 km/h.

Temperature steady near -28 (wind chill in the -35 to -40 range)

 

Tonight – Cloudy with a 40% chance of flurries/light snow. No significant accumulation.

Wind: N 10 km/h

9pm: -30 (wind chill near -40)

 

Friday – Partly cloudy. Light wind (NW 5-10 km/h)

Occasional wind chill in the -37 to -45 range

Morning Low: -36

Afternoon High: -32

 

Saturday – Mainly sunny. Light wind (NW 5-10 km/h)

Morning Low: -40

Afternoon High: -34

 

Sunday – Mainly sunny. Light wind. (SW 5-10 km/h)

Morning Low: -40

Afternoon High: -32

 

Monday – Mostly cloudy. 40% chance of light snow in the afternoon & evening.

Light wind. (S 10 km/h)

Morning Low: -33

Afternoon High: -22

 

Temperature rising overnight.

 

Tuesday – Mostly cloudy. 40% chance of light snow.

Wind becoming NW 20-30 km/h

Temperature falling through the day.

Morning: -15

Afternoon: -18  

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