This Was the Coldest Day in Canadian History (2022)

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This Was the Coldest Day in Canadian History (1)Photo: Courtesy of Carman Scherlie

Feb. 3, 1947: The Coldest Day in Canada’s History

My father, Wilfred Blezard, joined Transport Canada in 1946, a year after he arrived home from Europe, after serving six years in the Canadian Army. He willingly accepted postings as a weather technician to various northern stations in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, very grateful for the solitude and quietness of these lonely outposts, in sharp contrast to his devastating experiences overseas.

The first weather station my father was posted to was called Snag Airport, located approximately 30 kilometres east of the Alaska-Yukon border, near Beaver Creek, Yukon. He was one of four young weathermen stationed there during 1946-47. Snag Airport was part of the Northwest Staging Route of emergency landing strips and observation stations established during World War II to facilitate travel from Alaska and the Yukon to Central Canada and the United States.

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The weather station operated from 1943 to 1966. It was while my father was there that the temperature plummeted to -63°C (-81.4°F) on February 3, 1947, the coldest day in Canadian history, and a record-breaking low for all of North America. He, along with the officer in charge, Gord Toole, had the dubious honour of recording this unbelievable temperature. According to astronomy experts, on that day, Snag was colder than the average surface temperature of Mars. Telegrams of congratulations were received from many countries around the world, with several messages referring to Snag as North America’s new “cold pole.”

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This Was the Coldest Day in Canadian History (2)Photo: Shutterstock

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The Coldest Temperature in Canada Was Below the Range of a Thermometer

Mark Twain once remarked, “Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer, we’d all have frozen to death.”

My father and Gord Toole immediately noticed that the tiny sliding scale inside the glass thermometer column had fallen into the bulb at the end, well below the lowest reading on the thermometer (-80°F). After marking the thermometer sheath using a fine, sharp file (ink does not flow at that temperature), it was sent to a Toronto laboratory where it was re-calibrated at -81.4°F (-63°C). Three months later, the weather service accepted this as the correct temperature; not only the coldest temperature in Canada, but the lowest official temperature ever recorded in North America. According to my father, the men were excited by the news, saying, “We had to put a little lock on the door to the instrument screen because everyone was rushing out and looking at the thermometers. Even the slightest bit of body heat would cause the alcohol to jump.” Now, all official alcohol thermometers in Canada have markings to -70°C (-94°F), a thermometer redesign due to the coldest day in Canadian history.

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This Was the Coldest Day in Canadian History (3)Photo: Shutterstock

How Cold Was the Coldest Day in Canadian History?

Just how cold is -63°C? In order to give you a clear idea of the answer to this question, I have chosen to include several anecdotal, once-in-a- lifetime observations, as recorded by my father and Gord Toole in several interviews given over the years since this historic event. Will Snag remain North America’s “cold pole?” Only time will tell.

At -63°C, the people’s voices and barking dogs in the village of Snag could be plainly heard at the airport four miles away. Read on for more extreme facts from the coldest day in Canadian history:

  • An aircraft that flew over Snag that day at 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) was first heard when still more than 32 kilometres (20 miles) away, and later, when overhead, still at 10,000 feet, the engine roar was deafening. It sounded like it was in your bedroom! It woke everyone who was sleeping at the time because they thought the airplane was landing at the airport.
  • A piece of thin ice, when broken, sounded exactly like breaking glass.
  • Ice on the White River, about a mile east of the airport, cracked and boomed loudly, like gunfire, amplified by a cap of warmer air lying over intensely cold air on the ground, bouncing sound waves across great distances.
  • The extreme cold air generated intense radio static, much like the crackling sounds heard during a thunderstorm.
  • Exhaled breath instantly froze with a hissing noise, and stayed suspended in the air at head level in long vapour streaks several hundred metres long, like miniature condensation trails from a jet aircraft. These patches of human “fog” remained in the still air for three to four minutes, before falling to the ground as powdery ice crystals. One observer found such a trail still marking his path when he returned along the same route 15 minutes later. Becoming lost was of no concern!
  • For days, a small fog or steam patch would appear over the sled dogs, at a height of up to six metres. It would disappear only in the warm part of the day when the temperature warmed up to -50°C (-60°F).
  • A chunk of ice was so cold that, when brought into a warm room, it took five full minutes before there was any trace of moisture, even when held in a warm hand.
  • A cupful of cold water was thrown high into the air, just to see what would happen. Before it hit the ground, it made a hissing noise, froze and fell as tiny round pellets of ice the size of wheat kernels. Spit also froze before hitting the ground.
  • At such temperatures, metal snapped like ice, wood became petrified, even paper became brittle and rubber was just like cement. The sled dogs’ leather harnesses would break if bent.
  • After seconds outdoors, nose hairs froze rigidly and your eyes would tear. Facial hair and glasses become thickly crusted with frozen breath. You had to be careful not to inhale too deeply for fear of freezing or scalding your lungs from the frigid air. The only other discomfort caused by the cold were numerous cases of beginning frostbite, particularly the familiar “ping” as the tip of one’s nose froze. “It was easy to freeze your nose at -70°F without even knowing it was cold.” (Here are the signs of frostbite you should never ignore.)
  • The animals didn’t appear to suffer too much during this two-week spell when the temperatures never climbed above -53°C. Two horses, owned by a local trapper, used to visit the cookhouse every morning. It was amazing the things they would eat: apple pie, wieners, buns and cakes, and as an extra treat the cook even fed them ice cream one morning at -60°C. During their wandering around outside, almost 20 centimetres (8 inches) of ice would build up on their hooves, making it look like they were up on stilts.
  • The stamina of the sled dogs was truly remarkable. They never bothered to go into their kennels, preferring instead to lay on top of their kennels, curled up with their heads tucked in towards their bellies. A band of frost fog formed over their heads, keeping them reasonably warm.
  • Starting machinery was a chore. Getting an engine started was no guarantee it would continue to run. At that temperature, the oil and transmission fluid would coagulate into something approaching a solid.
  • And finally, truck tires could splay open when they hit ruts in the road.

Next, take a look back at the worst snowstorms in Canadian history.

Originally Published: January 20, 2022

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Originally Published in Our Canada

FAQs

This Was the Coldest Day in Canadian History? ›

On 3 February 1947 at 7:20 A.M. Yukon time, weather observer Gordon Toole hurried the 30 metres from the warm, log barracks at Snag Airport, Yukon, to the weather instrument compound next to the runway. For eight straight days the temperature had been below -58°F (-50°C), but on this morning it felt colder.

What was the coldest day in Canada? ›

It was while my father was there that the temperature plummeted to -63°C (-81.4°F) on February 3, 1947, the coldest day in Canadian history, and a record-breaking low for all of North America.

What was the coldest day in history? ›

The world's coldest temperature record, established on July 21, 1983, is held by the high-altitude weather station of Vostok, Antarctica. On that date, the temperature fell to -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

What was the coldest day in Canada 2022? ›

Date: Saturday, February 26, 2022.

What was the coldest day in Canada in 2021? ›

Wicked wind chill values left an icy, dangerous chill across Northern Canada in recent days and the coldest of 2021 is currently a staggeringly low -66 that was recorded at Ennadai Lake, Nunavut on February 6th.

Is Canada colder than Russia? ›

As far as countries go, Canada is pretty much the coolest — literally. It vies with Russia for first place as the coldest nation in the world, with an average daily annual temperature of —5.6ºC.

Is Canada the coldest country? ›

CANADA. Situated next to the United States of America, Canada is also considered as the coldest state of the planet. As it is located in the north of US, therefore, it receives the same chilly winds as the US does. These chilly winds bring heavy snowfall and drop the temperature to about -40 degrees Celsius.

Why was 1985 so cold? ›

The 1985 North America cold wave was a meteorological event which occurred in January, 1985, as a result of the shifting of the polar vortex farther south than is normally seen.

What was the coldest day in Ontario? ›

He says the coldest temperature ever recorded in Ottawa was more than 100 years ago at an agricultural weather station on Feb. 13, 1913 when the temperature bottomed out at –42.8.

What is the coldest it has ever been in Toronto? ›

These records were observed in downtown Toronto and go back to 1841. The lowest temperature measured during that time was -33 degrees Celsius (-27 Fahrenheit) on January 10, 1859.

When was the coldest winter in Canada? ›

Snag in the Yukon set the record for the lowest temperature in Canada at at -62.8° C in February, 1947. For more than a week, cold air from northeastern Siberia stalled over northern Canada.

Is February colder than January? ›

In 45 states, the coldest month of the year is January. December and February are the coldest months in other states. You might recall that February of 2021 was a brutally cold month.

Why Canada is so cold? ›

Because of its location north of the Equator, it does experience cold weather. However, because of its size, it has many different climates. Just imagine, its southern border lies in the same latitude as sunny northern California, while its northern border is near the frigid arctic.

What was the coldest day in Ontario 2022? ›

Extremes: Minimum Temperature - Daily data for Toronto
DateExtremeExtreme Year(s)
Jul 30 20223.9 °C1968
Jul 29 20226.7 °C1968
Jul 28 20228.5 °C1985
Jul 27 20227.2 °C1977
11 more rows

What is the hottest its ever been in Canada? ›

A heat dome hanging over British Columbia in late June 2021 melted Canada's long-standing record high temperature. Up until then, the highest temperature officially recorded in Canada was 45 °C (113 °F) on July 5, 1937 at Midale and at Yellow Grass, two small towns in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Which country is more cold? ›

Antarctica. Antarctica is the most chilly continent known by the fact. One of the cities of this continent is Vostok which has a population of scientists who work inside the world's most isolated research station. The city is located around 1,000 kilometres from the South Pole.

Is Canada colder than USA? ›

This variety, ranging from tundra to tropical, occurs because the country extends over such a large area north to south. Most of the United States is located in the mid-latitudes, where the climates are moderate. Canada is colder because so much of it lies far north in the higher latitudes.

Which province in Canada is the coldest? ›

Nunavut is the coldest territory in the winter, with an average daily temperature of -33.4 C, while Manitoba is the coldest winter province at -25.1 C.

Which province has the most snow in Canada? ›

St. John's, Newfoundland and Saguenay, Quebec top the lists as Canada's snowiest large cities. St. John's ranks first for total amount of snow, while Saguenay has the most days with fresh snowfall.
...
Longest Lasting Snow.
CityDays
Saguenay, Quebec155
Québec City, Quebec141
Sudbury, Ontario136
Trois-Rivières, Quebec134
6 more rows

What is the coldest city in Canada? ›

The coldest place in Canada based on average yearly temperature is Eureka, Nunavut, where the temperature averages at −19.7 °C or −3 °F for the year. However, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was −63.0 °C or −81 °F in Snag, Yukon.

Is UK colder than Canada? ›

Canada is about ten times larger than the UK, with several very different climatic zones. But it is safer to say that most, if not all, of Canada is colder than the UK.

Is Canada colder than Europe? ›

The same weather patterns that bring the hurricanes north up the coast of the United States continues on across the Atlantic. There is then little interaction with colder air masses and colder ocean currents, so the overall weather in Europe is in general warmer that that seen in Alaska and Northern Canada.

How cold was the winter of 1985? ›

In Wilmington the temperature fell to 5 degrees on the morning of January 21, 1985; this tied the all-time record low for Wilmington orginally established on February 13, 1899.
...
January 1985 Record-breaking Cold.
All-time State Low Temperature Records set on January 21, 1985
North Carolina: Mount Mitchell-34°
Virginia: Mountain Lake-30°
1 more row
Jan 18, 1985

What's the coldest it gets in Virginia? ›

ARCTIC COLD IN VIRGINIA

The elevated valley of Mountain Lake allowed cold air to pool and set an all-time record low of -30°F for the state of Virginia.

What causes a polar vortex? ›

It forms in Autumn when Arctic or Antarctic temperatures cool rapidly as the polar night begins. The increased temperature difference between the pole and the tropics causes strong winds and the Coriolis effect causes the vortex to spin up. The stratospheric polar vortex breaks down in Spring as the polar night ends.

Which is hottest city in Canada? ›

1. Victoria, British Columbia. Victoria – the capital of British Columbia – has the distinct honor of being Canada's warmest city.

How cold is space? ›

The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite has refined temperature measurements taken way back in 1964. According to data from the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, the temperature of space is 2.725K (2.725 degrees above absolute zero).

Is Toronto colder than NYC? ›

In general, Toronto's climate is slightly more moderate than Montreal and similar to (but colder) than New York City. Most visitors to Toronto tend to underestimate how cold and snowy the winters are and how hot and humid the summers can often be.

What is the coldest Russia has ever been? ›

The rural location in Russia, about midway between the Sea of Okhotsk and the East Siberian Sea, saw its temperature bottom out at minus-78 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-61.1 Celsius). That was the lowest December temperature recorded in Russia since 1984, according to Thierry Goose, who tracks international weather data.

What was the coldest day in Ontario 2022? ›

Extremes: Minimum Temperature - Daily data for Toronto
DateExtremeExtreme Year(s)
Jul 30 20223.9 °C1968
Jul 29 20226.7 °C1968
Jul 28 20228.5 °C1985
Jul 27 20227.2 °C1977
11 more rows

What was the hottest day ever in Canada? ›

B.C. sets new Canadian record for hottest temperature ever...
  • National record: Lytton, B.C. (46.6°C)
  • Monthly records: Lytton, B.C. (46.6°C), Pemberton, B.C. (40.3°C), Abbotsford, B.C. (39.6°C), Hope, B.C. (39.5°C), Squamish, B.C. (39°C), Victoria, B.C. (35.8°C), Grande Prairie, Alta. (
Jun 15, 2022

What was the coldest day in Canada 2020? ›

February 14, 2020

What is the hottest Canada has ever been? ›

A heat dome hanging over British Columbia in late June 2021 melted Canada's long-standing record high temperature. Up until then, the highest temperature officially recorded in Canada was 45 °C (113 °F) on July 5, 1937 at Midale and at Yellow Grass, two small towns in southeastern Saskatchewan.

What is the coldest city in Canada? ›

The coldest place in Canada based on average yearly temperature is Eureka, Nunavut, where the temperature averages at −19.7 °C or −3 °F for the year. However, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was −63.0 °C or −81 °F in Snag, Yukon.

Is February colder than January? ›

In 45 states, the coldest month of the year is January. December and February are the coldest months in other states. You might recall that February of 2021 was a brutally cold month.

Which is the coldest province in Canada? ›

Nunavut is the coldest territory in the winter, with an average daily temperature of -33.4 C, while Manitoba is the coldest winter province at -25.1 C.

Where is the coldest place on Earth? ›

1) Eastern Antarctic Plateau, Antarctica (-94°C)

The Eastern Antarctic Plateau claims the title of coldest place on Earth.

Where is the coldest city in the world? ›

If you miss winter, think of the poor souls in the coldest city on Earth. Winter temperatures in Oymyakon, Russia, average minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50 degrees Celsius). The remote village is generally considered the coldest inhabited area on Earth.

Why is Canada so cold? ›

Because of its high latitudes, in the winter Canada receives comparatively less sunshine. For example, at 78 degrees North, which is half-way between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole, people living there see 94 days of complete darkness in winter (offset by 126 days of complete sunshine in the summer).

What is the hottest town in Canada? ›

The Warmest Place in Canada Year-Round

Kamloops may make you melt in summer, but that doesn't mean its winters are warm. In fact, its average lowest annual temperature is -27 degrees, while the record coldest was set in 1950 at a frigid -38.3 degrees Celsius.

What is the hottest country in the world? ›

Mali is the hottest country in the world, with an average yearly temperature of 83.89°F (28.83°C). Located in West Africa, Mali actually shares borders with both Burkina Faso and Senegal, which follow it on the list.

Why was Canada so hot? ›

It's the mountains of the Pacific coast that have had an essential and unique role in making this particular heat wave possible. Climate change is not just warming the surface of the planet, it's warming Earth's entire troposphere – the lowest layer of the atmosphere where all our weather occurs.

In 1947 at Snag in the Yukon it was so cold that Gordon Toole's breath turned to powder and fell to the ground.

On 3 February 1947 at 7:20 A.M. Yukon time, weather observer Gordon Toole hurried the 30 metres from the warm, log barracks at Snag Airport, Yukon, to the weather instrument compound next to the runway.. Within the hour, the Director of the Canadian Weather Service congratulated Snag on becoming North America’s “cold pole.”. Three months later, the weather service accepted a value of -81.4°F (-63°C) as the corrected temperature — still the lowest official temperature ever recorded in North America.. The village of Snag was six kilometres to the north of the airport, near the point where the Snag Creek flowed into the White River.. At Snag, temperatures dipped below -58°F (-50°C) on six days in December, and on eleven days in January.. On 2 February, the temperature fell to -80°F (-62.2°C), which was a new all-time Canadian record cold.. But it was to last only a day: the very next day, the corrected temperature was -81.4°F (-63°C) — a new record low for all of North America.. On 3 February, the thermometer at Fort Selkirk, a very small community on the Yukon River, 180 kilometres east-northeast of Snag, recorded -85°F (-65°C), (corrected for instrument error).. That same day at Mayo — a station about 300 kilometres northeast of Snag — the temperature apparently reached -80°F (-62.2°C).. Long-time resident and local booster, Jean Gordon, claims that while Snag may have a lower temperature extreme, Mayo, with its two schools, hotels and population of 500 people, can boast being the coldest “decent-sized” community in North America and, as a road sign entering Mayo claims, the town with the largest temperature range: a huge 177 degrees, from a maximum of 97°F (-36.1°C) to a minimum of -80°F (-62.2°C).. With a continuous supply of cold air from northeastern Siberia, the cold dome over the Yukon grew in extent and severity, creating all the record lows.. But a dramatic change was to occur later in February: the westerlies relaxed, the cold air spilled through to eastern North America, resulting in severe cold as far south as Florida, and brought maritime air from the Pacific to the southern Yukon where the cold broke for a few days.. The Snag record beat the previous lowest Canadian temperature of -77.9°F (-61°C), recorded on 11 January 1911 at Fort Vermilion, Alberta (still Western Canada’s lowest official temperature, though), as well as the lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States.. On 7 January 1982, two temporary sites near Fort Nelson, in northeastern British Columbia, reported temperatures of -96°F (-71.1°C) and -92°F (-68.8°C), in connection with a permafrost study; while the temperature at Fort Nelson airport weather station was -43.6°F (-42°C).. The extreme temperatures were attributed to intense cold air in mountain valleys during a long, cold, clear night.

This winter has broken records and kneecapped the economy. It also showed us how ill-prepared Canada is for a future of extreme weather.

On March 1, Regina broke a 130-year-old record for that day’s temperarture: -36° C, with a wind chill of -53° C. In Kenora, Ont., where all-time winter lows have wreaked havoc on its maze of underground pipes, the city is in the midst of a two-week boil-water advisory.. In Toronto, where the mercury also nosedived to the lowest point in two decades, the city surpassed its record for consecutive days with at least one centimetre of snow on the ground: 89, as of March 7, and counting.. But that rosy economic outlook glosses over a much frostier reality: This winter for the ages will cost Canadian cities untold millions in extra snow-clearing, pothole maintenance and other infrastructure repair bills that have yet to arrive.. Calgary’s sidewalks have been so icy that, between December and February, the city was slapped with an alarming rash of claims for injury and property damage: 264, more than triple the number filed during the same span over the previous three years combined.. For Thistlethwaite—whose research focuses on practical, cost-effective ways to adapt to global warming—the winter of 2014 reaffirms two irrefutable facts: that increasing bouts of severe weather, triggered by climate change or not, can inflict massive costs; and those costs are amplified by the state of the infrastructure that takes the pounding.. “Extreme weather is costing a fortune to our municipalities, and more and more our infrastructure will need to be more solid,” says Claude Dauphin, mayor of the Montreal borough of Lachine, and president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).. Almost 60 per cent of Canada’s infrastructure was built more than 70 years ago and, according to a recent analysis by the FCM, one-third of all city roads are in dire need of repair.. Kenora: The city experienced its coldest winter on record. Toronto: It was the city’s coldest winter in 20 years, and the most snowbound on record (days with at least one centimetre of snow on the ground).

The dead of winter usually settles in during late January.

It’s a series we call The Science of Winter, and today’s episode, on the first day of winter, looks at one side of cold weather that doesn’t seem to make any sense.. Yes, dear optimists, the days will now grow longer, bringing more solar energy each day, warming us steadily until we reach glorious summer, right?. One reason why the cold lasts so long along the east coast is the steady delivery of ocean water coming down from the Arctic in the Labrador Current, which is the cold alter-ego of the warm Gulf Stream.. The past seven months have all been warmer than average — by about two degrees in most cases, which is a hot streak that Phillips calls “a shocker.”. “There’s a lot of stored heat out there” in soil and water, Phillips believes, and this has the potential to bring mildness to the start of this winter.. That’s the steady, high-altitude wind current that flows west to east, and it divides cold northern air from warm southern air.. The change happens in November and makes November a windy, stormy month — except that this year’s November was calmer than most.. For clock-watchers: Ottawa receives eight hours, 42 minutes and 51 seconds of sunlight on this first day of winter.. The winter solstice is traditionally called Midwinter’s Day — midwinter in the sense that it’s the longest night, the dark time when people gathered around a Yule log that burned all night.. By Christmas Day the days have grown 44 seconds longer.. The high point is of course the first day of summer, June 21, which has 15 hours, 40 minutes and some seconds of daylight and is the longest day of the year.. Though not, Phillips points out, the warmest day of the year.

Not in 26 years of releasing the Top 10 Weather Events has there been anything comparable to this year, where Canadians endured such a stream of weather extremes. The year began with windstorms causing multi-million dollar damage across the West in early January, and ended with rain, windstorms and floods causing multi-billion dollars of damage in British Columbia. Although we cannot attribute a single weather event to human-caused climate change, the evidence is conclusive -- we are experiencing more intense and more frequent extreme weather. Climate change is leading to more frequent and more intense disasters around the world. This was the year southern Canadians began seeing this firsthand. There was no new types of weather this year – our grandparents coped with the same rain, heat, floods, fires and drought. But the extremes were of a different nature than in the past. They were more widespread, intense, frequent and impactful.

Temperature extremes in Canada covered a range of 100 degrees, varying from a record hot of 49.6 °C, causing nearly 800 fatalities in British Columbia and Alberta, to the coldest temperature in 4 years at -51.9 °C.. Two days earlier, on June 27, Lytton broke the previous national record (45 °C) that had stood for 84 years from Yellowgrass and Midale, Saskatchewan, and exceeded that record on June 28 and yet again on June 29.. From June 24 to July 4, the inferno-like heat blew past 1000 daily temperature records over 11 days, with over 100 records between 40 °C and 50 °C and some by 12 degrees, not decimals.. Calgary broke 5 records in a row, including new June 29 and July 1 records of 36.3 °C and nearly broke the all-time highest temperature record for the city over the past 140 years of 36.6 °C, which was set in 2019.. Second heat wave About a week after the first heat wave in the East, torrid heat enveloped the region again from June 4 to June 9 with several sites reporting temperatures exceeding 30 °C for 3 to 5 consecutive days, some at 14 degrees warmer than normal.. First winter storm not until the New Year Weather bomb revs up snowblowers Groundhog Day storm 2021 Storm debilitates Atlantic Canada for a week or more Winter’s one day of misery for Moncton Lion-like March storm slams Atlantic Canada Rare March lightning Easter rain and ice storm with loss at sea Newfoundland’s record April showers Rare Nova Scotia tornadoes Thin, weak ice off and on Labrador affects life Where are the icebergs?. Groundhog Day storm slows traffic Early March blizzard closes highways Lightning storm wakes up Montrealers Winter-Spring storm slams the East Record minimum ice conditions in the Gulf Winter’s last hurrah Pollen explosion Trois-Rivières thunderstorm August sweltering and sultry in Quebec October storms and two final tornadoes. Winter wallop shuts learning at home and school Lion-like storm Mid-March wind storm across Ontario Winter-Spring storm slams Ontario and beyond Ontario’s April snowfall Pollen explosion Chatsworth tornado Soaker in southwestern Ontario Jet winds across Ontario Never-ending rain storm across Ontario Ontario’s record October mildness Northwestern Ontario’s first snows are a doozy. Alberta wind squall Late March Prairie blows Pleas for rain finally answered on May long weekend Winds damage Manitoba property in early June Return to winter in June following May heat wave Altona tornado Bring the rain, forget the wind Rare multi-tornado day First tornado in weeks Rescue rains – too little too late August ends with a weather bang Time to let the cows out of the barn Sensational September across the Eastern Prairies Summer comes back in October Remembrance Day storm to remember. BC’s first winter storms Cold and record snows just days before Valentines March windstorm leads to power outages Flooding in the midst of coming drought September rains, rains and more rains Pacific weather bombs – among the most powerful ever Rare Vancouver tornado. Record January mildness Whitehorse’s record snowy winter – a possible flood threat Another year of retreating and thinning sea ice Following record cold comes record warm in Yukon Winter snows = Summer floods Heat advisories in the North Weather rarity October in the North – more rubber boots than winter boots

Miserable. Gloomy. Freezing cold. In Canada, winter can be all these things. But in 1816, that’s how the summer unfolded — and it would take nearly seventy years before we would understand why.

Lady Sherbrooke reported that the morning was “very cold.” However, the next day as they passed northwestern Prince Edward Island, there was a fine sailing breeze.. Then, on July 6, the weather began to deteriorate.. The situation was similar the next day, so Lady Sherbrooke spent the day in her cabin.. Raffles reported to the Natural History Society in Batavia that September, but the eruption apparently was seen as an isolated, although sensational, incident.. With Tambora estimated to have created four times as much dust, the northern regions should have dropped about 2.4°c.. And in the middle of that came the 1815 eruption of Tambora.

Buried cars, power cuts, whiteouts... The worst snowstorms in Canada's history manage to put our legendary love for winter to the test.

Illustration: Shutterstock. The weather forecast called for light snow that day, but Toronto got more than it bargained for, with a record 57 centimetres dumped over most of the city.. Traffic was paralyzed for days, cutting off vital deliveries of milk, bread and coal, while important munitions factories supplying the war effort had to shut down.. Fierce winds overturned a streetcar at Queen St. East and Mutual St., trapping 170 people inside and crushing one to death.. In total, 21 people died across Southern Ontario, 13 of them from heart attacks caused by overexertion as they tried to shovel their way out of their homes.. The city’s plows were no match for the huge snow drifts, and the Mayor appealed for young volunteers for help clear the streets.. It ultimately took three days for Torontonians to dig themselves out.. The winter of 1970-71 was an epic one, even by Montreal standards.. A total of 500,000 truckloads of snow were hauled out of the city, only to have another smaller blizzard hit three days later.. The total snowfall that winter was almost four metres.. In the Fraser Valley, 250 motorists were stranded for up to 17 hours in drifts as high as three metres, and the military was called in to provide what provincial authorities called “the most significant and intense life-saving operation carried out in British Columbia in many years.”

Feb. 3, 1947: The Coldest Day in Canada My father, Wilfred Blezard, joined Transport Canada in 1946, a year after he arrived home from Europe, after

He willingly accepted postings as a weather technician to various northern stations in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, very grateful for the solitude and quietness of these lonely outposts, in sharp contrast to his devastating experiences overseas.The first weather station my father was posted to was called Snag Airport, located approximately 30 kilometres east of the Alaska-Yukon border, near Beaver Creek, Yukon.. Snag Airport was part of the Northwest Staging Route of emergency landing strips and observation stations established during World War II to facilitate travel from Alaska and the Yukon to Central Canada and the United States.The weather station operated from 1943 to 1966.. If the thermometer had been an inch longer, wed all have frozen to death.My father and Gord Toole immediately noticed that the tiny sliding scale inside the glass thermometer column had fallen into the bulb at the end, well below the lowest reading on the thermometer (-80F).. Three months later, the weather service accepted this as the correct temperature; not only the coldest temperature in Canada, but the lowest official temperature ever recorded in North America.. Now, all official alcohol thermometers in Canada have markings to -94F, a thermometer redesign due to the coldest day in Canadian history.Beat the chill with 10 more mind-blowing facts about Canada .. Ice on the White River, about a mile east of the airport, cracked and boomed loudly, like gunfire, amplified by a cap of warmer air lying over intensely cold air on the ground, bouncing sound waves across great distances.

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