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Will cold temperatures in Ottawa this weekend allow the Rideau Canal Skateway to reopen?

Cold temperatures are set to return to Ottawa for the opening weekend of Winterlude, but it’s unclear whether it’s enough to allow for the reopening of the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Environment Canada’s forecast calls for a high of -1 C Friday and wind chill near – 7. It will be mainly cloudy with a 30 per cent chance of flurries in the morning. We’ll see a few clouds with a low of -12 C Friday night.

On Saturday, we’ll see a mix of sun and cloud with a high of -2 C and wind chill -15 in the morning and -4 in the afternoon. Clear skies and a low of -9 C are forecasted at night.

Sunny skies and a high of -1 C are forecasted for Sunday.

The normal temperatures for this time of year are a high of -6 C and a low of -15 C.

The Rideau Canal Skateway opened for four days in January before freezing rain and mild temperatures forced the closure. The National Capital Commission says the skateway will reopen 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,” NCC told CTV News in a statement.

“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.”

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