Most of the southern half of the province is trapped in a deep freeze that will likely last until the new year.
Environment Canada issued extreme cold warnings for most of western Canada Wednesday.
Temperatures across southern Saskatchewan were hovering around the -30 C mark with overnight wind chills as low as -38 C and -44 C.
“We’re under a large ridge of arctic high pressure which originated up in Siberia a couple weeks ago and has now filtered down into western Canada and it looks like this cold temperature pattern is going to persist right on through the weekend,” explained Environment Canada meteorologist Mike McDonald.
He noted that the wind chill values should moderate through the day and cloud cover with a chance of snow flurries could insulate the province from the coldest temperatures later in the day Wednesday.
Unfortunately, the slight reprieve from the extreme cold will not last long.
“Once this system goes by, tomorrow another surge of very cold arctic air which is sitting up over northern Alberta is going to push down into southern Saskatchewan and that’s going to maintain itself right on through Sunday,” McDonald said.
The warmest region of the province is the southwest corner around -24 C range.
He said the long-range weather forecast models show the worst core of the cold temperatures will push past into Manitoba by Monday allowing for closer to normal seasonal temperatures.
These frigid temperatures are expected to be dangerously cold, elevating the risk of hypothermia and frostbite on exposed skin can develop in minutes. Environment Canada website advises people to keep emergency supplies in vehicles including blankets and booster cables and recommends any outdoor workers be able to take frequent breaks to warm up.
As for good news in the weather forecast, the best he could offer was this, “no mosquitoes.”