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What counts as extreme cold?

Brr! Cold in Alberta
Brr! Cold in Alberta

Lisa Varano, staff writer

January 17, 2011 — Monday morning's forecast was bitterly cold in southern Ontario and the Prairies. But one region is used to it, while the other is not.

Very cold from Sunday night to Monday morning
Very cold from Sunday night to Monday morning

From Alberta to southern Quebec, one word can sum up Monday: Frigid. Northwesterly winds swept Arctic air across a wide swath of the country.

It's expected to be the coldest morning of the winter so far in Toronto: around -18°C, feeling colder with the wind chill. The city was under an extreme cold weather alert throughout the weekend. Temperatures were so severe Monday morning, an elderly woman was found frozen to death on a driveway in the city's east end.

But what is extreme in one area is not unusual in another part of Canada. Take Edmonton, Saskatoon, or Winnipeg as examples. These cities are waking up to temperatures below -25°C on Monday before the wind chill is factored in.

Temperatures will improve in the Prairies as the week goes on. Southern Ontario only has to wait until Tuesday to swing back to more seasonal temperatures.

Next storm coming to Ontario
Next storm coming to Ontario

Warm air is coming to the region with a low pressure system from Alberta. While a warm up is coming, so is a storm. Exactly what it will bring is subject to change.

“Areas north of Barrie will likely get snow. But the type of precipitation for Toronto and areas to the south is uncertain. It looks like there will be freezing rain in southern Ontario,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

To keep track of this unfolding weather story, tune in to The Weather Network on TV for your local forecast every 10 minutes on the 10s, check your hourly forecast, or download our mobile apps.

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