An Arctic ridge of high pressure continues to sit over Saskatchewan, bringing frigid temperatures to close out the year. The system prompted Environment and Climate Change Canada to issue an extreme cold warning for nearly the entire province.
Overnight Monday, temperatures ranged from -29° here in the southeast to -38° in the Kindersley area. This didn’t include the wind chills, which made it feel as cold as -50 in many parts of the province.
With an overnight low of -29.4°, Estevan was relatively warmer than the rest of the province, where the temperatures plunged below -30°, and in some cases, below -40°.
The temperatures recorded Tuesday morning were startling, as Leader, Maple Creek and Swift Current were all among the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of -40.3°, -39.1° and -38° respectively being reported. Those temperatures, unofficially, are records for all three communities.
The cold air mass that has moved onto the prairies, in fact, had all but one place on the list of the top 15 coldest places on earth being in Canada. Yakutsk, Russia was the only place outside of Canada on the list.
There were even some records set in the province as the cold snap settled in for the rest of 2021.
For Swift Current, the mercury dipped to -36.4° on Monday, which made it the coldest December 27th on record. The previous record had been set in 1924 when the mercury dipped to -35.6°. For Kindersley, the temperature of -35.1° Monday set a new record, with the old one coming from 1968 when the temperature hit -33.3°.
The temperatures are expected to remain well below normal for this time of year until the start of 2022. Environment and Climate Change Canada is calling for the temperatures to return to normal starting on January 2nd, although there could be another cold stretch coming shortly after that.