Extreme cold warning: low of -26 C expected in Ottawa

Extreme cold will grip the national capital region this weekend before a major snowstorm hits the region on Monday.

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for Ottawa, eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley. Ottawa Public Health has issued a frostbite warning for Ottawa.

"Temperatures are forecast to rapidly fall through the day today. As a result, by this evening, wind chill values near minus 35 are expected to develop," Environment Canada said about the expected weather Friday in Ottawa.

"As temperatures fall even further tonight, even lower wind chill values near minus 40 are possible into early Saturday morning."

The weather agency warns extreme cold wind chill values of -35 C may return overnight Saturday.

The extreme cold warning is in effect for Ottawa, Kingston, Smiths Falls – Lanark, Brockville – Leeds and Grenville, Cornwall – Morrisburg, Prescott Russell and Renfrew, Pembroke and Barry's Bay.

Wind chill values near -30 are expected in the Kingston and Belleville areas.


Ottawa Public Health has issued a frostbite warning for Ottawa.

"With a wind chill of -35 or colder, exposed skin can freeze in less than ten minutes. There is also an increased risk of hypothermia for people who stay outside for long periods of time without adequate protection," said the health unit.

"Overexposure can result in severe injury and even death. Ottawa Public Health recommends that you wear several layers of clothing to keep warm and make sure that the outer layer protects you from wind and moisture."

Ottawa Public Health recommends wearing several layers of clothing when you go outside.

Tips to prevent frostbite, according to Ottawa Public Health

  • Get to a warm area before frostbite sets in
  • Keep extra mittens and gloves in the car, house or school bag
  • Wear larger sized mittens over your gloves
  • Wear a hat
  • Wear a neck warmer to protect the chin, lips and cheeks.
  • Wear waterproof winter boots with room for an extra layer of socks.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: We are now issuing a Frostbite Warning. Windchills forecast to be as cold as -40 C tomorrow & risks continue until Sun. Read the latest PSA for more info & tips on how to help those at risk stay safe & warm: https://t.co/U5zqP1RHKr @environmentca @211EasternON https://t.co/45M6Lm1DN2

— Ottawa Public Health (@OttawaHealth) January 14, 2022


Clear tonight, with a low of -26 C. With the wind chill it will feel like -36 overnight.

Saturday will be sunny with a high of -18 C. It will feel like -34 with the wind chill Saturday morning, and -25 in the afternoon.

Sunny skies continue on Sunday, with a high of-14 C.

The outlook for Monday is snow.

Modelling suggests Ottawa could see 20 cm of snow on Monday.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Ottawa and eastern Ontario, calling for 15 to 30 cm of snow Sunday night through Monday.

"Confidence for significant snowfall is greatest from Niagara to the Saint Lawrence River Valley," said Environment Canada.