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A cold start to the week in Ottawa

It’s a cold start to the work week in Ottawa, with it feeling like -7 with the wind chill on Monday. However, mild daytime temperatures are in the forecast for the first full week of February.

Environment Canada’s forecast calls for a sunny day with a high of 0 C and low of -15 C. The wind chill will make it feel like -18 overnight.

If you are planning to visit Winterlude activities today, the Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau’s Jacques-Cartier Park is open today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday will also be sunny with a high of -2 C. Temperatures will drop to -11 C at night.

On Wednesday, we’ll also have a sunny day with a high of 0 C and low of -7 C.

Temperatures are forecasted to remain above seasonal all week, with highs of 2 C on Thursday, 3 C on Friday and 5 C on Saturday.

The normal temperatures for this time of year are a high of -5 C and a low of -14 C.

What do below freezing temperatures mean to the opening of the Rideau Canal?

Despite the forecast calling for double-digit negative lows overnight, the National Capital Commission has yet to announce the re-opening of the Rideau Canal Skateway after a brief period of skating last month.

CTV News Ottawa asked the NCC how thick the ice was and whether the ice sheet was growing or shrinking:

“The Skateway will reopen to the public when a sufficient thickness of good quality ice has formed. Once the Skateway surface freezes to a minimum thickness, the maintenance crew starts removing snow and/or flooding the surface to speed up and maximize further ice formation.

“The Skateway is a free-floating sheet of ice on a body of water. Before the NCC opens the Rideau Canal Skateway, ice samples must show that there is a sufficient thickness of good quality ice for safe public skating by the thousands of visitors the Skateway welcomes each day. And we make sure we have as clean and smooth an ice surface as possible.”

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Ted Raymond

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