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The Polar Vortex is going nowhere for a few days. I'm writing this at 6:26, with our 6:00 am weather update from Environment Canada putting us… well… here:

  • Wind: N 30 km/h
  • Wind Chill: -40
  • Visibility: 3 km

…which qualifies the city for an extreme cold warning. For the time being, Calgary is one of only five regions in our province without a warning in place, the others being K-Country, Crowsnest, Cardston and Okotoks.

This polar air is well-entrenched and has no basis for movement away. We'll watch the central core split westward and ensure chilly conditions, and this outpouring of arctic air, continue toward the weekend. Our next potential single-digit (negative) high will likely have to wait until the weekend.

It should go without saying, but skin exposed to conditions like this will run the risk of frostbite. Common symptoms include numbness, a greyish-yellow or bluish-white surface layer, or a prickling feeling on affected areas. General clumsiness and blistering can occur as well. At -30, that risk limit is up to 30 minutes, but at Calgary's -40, it's 15 minutes.

Limit that time outside. We have a couple of weak disturbances that may try ripping through Wednesday and Friday, and if it takes two passes to shovel the drive, so be it. Stay safe, friends.

Here's the five-day forecast:

Today:

  • Partly cloudy
  • Daytime high: -24 C
  • Evening: some cloud, low -31 C

Tuesday:

  • Mainly sunny
  • Daytime high: -22 C
  • Evening: snow showers beginning, low -31 C

Wednesday:

  • Scattered flurries, some sun
  • Daytime high: -27 C
  • Evening: mainly clear, low -32 C

Thursday:

  • Mainly sunny
  • Daytime high: -28 C
  • Evening: mainly clear, low -30 C

Friday:

  • Snow showers
  • Daytime high: -17 C
  • Evening: mainly clear, low -20 C

How cold is it?

It's "Fiona caught a photo of radiation fog rising off the Bow" cold.

It's also "Margie caught the same thing in Griffiths Woods" cold.

You can submit your weather photos here, or email me here! Kevin Stanfield