Frigid New Year For Much Of Canada

For a fourth day, millions of Canadians face temperatures well below seasonal norms. And it is far from over, the cold wave will persist over the next few days.

Cold warnings affect Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, part of British Columbia, New Brunswick and Labrador.

In Winnipeg and Saskatoon, it was -28 ° C at dawn. In Edmonton, the thermometer read -27 ° C. In Quebec City and Montreal, the awakening was brutal with temperatures of -22 ° C and -24 ° C respectively.

The cold weather complicates the movements. On Thursday, at least five people were injured in a series of collisions on Route 175 in the Réserve faunique des Laurentides.

The police recommend that motorists adapt their driving to the weather conditions. As winter tires do not have the same grip at -20 ° C, it is necessary to slow down and maintain a greater distance between vehicles, they explain.

CAA-Quebec expects demand for its helpdesk to continue in the coming days. On Thursday, the organization received more than 11,500 calls, while 9600 applications were registered on Wednesday. That being so, we are far from the record of 15,500 calls received on January 8, 2015.

Hydro-Québec in energy saving

The polar cold that prevails on the country deprives the ski resorts of several hours of activities due to a load shedding operation demanded by Hydro-Québec. The Crown Corporation is asking ski resorts to limit their activities in order to save valuable kilowatts of electricity that can be redistributed into the residential sector to warm the homes of many citizens.

The unloading operation is carried out on a voluntary basis to which the owner of the Montérégie resort willingly bends. “We find that it is a good collective action on our part and the other ski resorts that participate,” says the owner of the Mont Saint-Bruno ski resort, Michel Couture. “We know that the need is important with these cold temperatures that we have in Quebec. ”

The management of the ski resort has decided to stop the manufacture of artificial snow until January 2, when the cold wave should end. “Stops and starts are extremely difficult, it’s very technical, you can water the mountain,” says Couture. “The risk of freezing and generating a disaster with the snow system is still there, it is better for us to completely stop snowmaking. ”

“Load shedding operations of this kind existed during the 1990s,” says Couture. “Hydro-Québec has decided to put this practice back into service. ”

Wind Chill means Frigid New Year

The wind chill also makes its own. In western and central Quebec, the combination of arctic air and strong winds causes a wind chill factor of -30 to -38.

Meteorologist Pascal Yiacouvakis said on Thursday that people mistakenly think wind chill is a temperature, but rather a clue.

Environment Canada’s wind chill index and that of its American counterpart, the National Weather Service, are not calculated according to the same formula, he continues. And since it aims to estimate a sensation of cold, the wind chill index is not expressed in degrees, as is the case for the actual temperature.

You do not have the right to say ” a cooling index of -40 ° C ”. It’s wrong! It’s -40.

Pascal Yiacouvakis

A risk for workers

Freezing weather is a risk for workers who have to work outdoors .

It can cause frostbite and, in more severe cases, hypothermia and permanent physical injury.

The Committee on Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) therefore recommends dressing warmly, ideally in multi-layers, and alternating periods of work and warming.

“It helps to isolate the body,” says Caroline Gingras, public relations coordinator and CNESST spokesperson. Do not forget to cover your extremities [with] boots, [gloves], and your head too, because there is a lot of heat loss. ”

The CNESST also recommends removing damp or wet clothing and replace with dry clothing.

Donald Trump mocks global warming

The President of the United States mocked global warming as much of Canada and the northern United States are swept by a cold snap.

Wanting to be ironic, Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter: “In the east, it could be the eve of the coldest New Year ever,” he wrote.

Donald Trump’s comments did not fail to provoke an avalanche of reactions on the Internet. Scientists got together to try to explain climate change to the President of the United States.

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About the Author: Mark Furgison

Mark has over six years experience as a teacher, ecologist, zoologist and botanist. She has a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University Graduate School. His professional expertise in environmental health empacts has been recognized since 1973, when she testified at a New York DEC public hearing in Utica on ground truthing aerial photo wetland mapping by wetland community type. He taught (HS) Physics, Geology, Oceanography, Chemistry and photography from 1970-1980 at Palfrey Street School, Watertown, MA. Aproject: National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

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