A large portion of Canada is currently experiencing a blast of bitterly cold winter weather, including the whole province of Alberta, which Wednesday saw the extension of severe cold warnings from the north of the province to the U.S. border. Environment Canada said the wind chill may moderate during the day but the extreme cold will continue through the week.
Environment Canada issues extreme cold warnings when very cold temperatures or wind chill values create an elevated risk to health such as frostbite, hypothermia and cardiac arrest.
There are different criteria for what constitutes an emergency cold alert in each part of the country. They are issued in Alberta for wind chills of -40 or lower, when frostbite can set in on exposed skin in as little as five to 10 minutes.
Moreover, all of Saskatchewan, a portion of Manitoba, northeastern British Columbia, northern Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador are under an extreme cold warning.
Little children, older adults, those with chronic conditions, those who work out outside, and those without adequate shelter all face higher health risks.