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Josh Classen's forecast: Edmonton could get its coldest temperatures in over 50 years

wxblog Jan. 11 2024
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The deep freeze is here and it's not going anywhere any time soon.

In fact, we're still not at the bottom of this cold spell. Friday-Sunday will all be colder than today.

The last time Edmonton hit -40 C was in 1972. We have a legitimate shot at hitting that temperature (or colder) in the coming days, especially Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Yes...yes...I know the weather station at Edmonton International Airport has hit -40 C or colder in more recent years, but it's outside city limits. No station IN the city has hit -40 C since we got to -41.1 C on Jan. 26, 1972.

The coldest January temperatures in the past 50 years in Edmonton are:

  • -37.8 C on Jan. 19, 1996; and 
  • -36.7 C on Jan. 16, 2020.

We will VERY LIKELY get colder than that.

I think we'll hold steady at around -28 C through today in Edmonton. But, a 10-15 km/h wind will produce wind chills in the -35 C to -40 C range.

That means frostbite is possible on exposed skin in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.

The wind backs off to about 5-10 km/h for Friday through Sunday. So, it won't be a consistent all-day wind chill.

But, even at those wind speeds, wind chill will occasional hit the -40 to -50 range:

  • -30 with a 5 km/h wind = wind chill -36
  • -30 with a 10 km/h wind = wind chill -39
  • -40 with a 5 km/h wind = wind chill -47
  • -40 with a 10 km/h wind = wind chill -51

Outside of Edmonton, we'll likely see temperatures in the -40 C to -45 C range Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.

IN the city, I have us at -36 C Friday morning and then right around -40 C for Saturday and Sunday mornings.

However...there's a chance that's too optimistic. There's model output suggesting lows near -49 C and HIGHs in the -40s.

For what it's worth...I don't think that'll happen. BUT...temperatures hitting the -40 C to -45 C are "POSSIBLE" in the city over the coming days.

When does it end?

The worst of the deep freeze is done by Monday, but we'll still be in the -20 C to -30 C range Monday.

Tuesday should be our first day back into the minus teens.

There's not much chance of temperatures returning to the -5 C to -10 C range before the end of next week.

 

Here's the forecast for Edmonton and area:

Today - Mostly cloudy.

Wind: N 10-15 km/h.

Temperature steady near -28 (wind chill in the -35 to -40 range)

 

Tonight - Cloudy with a 40% chance of flurries/light snow. No significant accumulation.

Wind: N 10 km/h

9pm: -30 (wind chill near -40)

 

Friday - Partly cloudy. Light wind (NW 5-10 km/h)

Occasional wind chill in the -37 to -45 range

Morning Low: -36

Afternoon High: -32

 

Saturday - Mainly sunny. Light wind (NW 5-10 km/h)

Morning Low: -40

Afternoon High: -34

 

Sunday - Mainly sunny. Light wind. (SW 5-10 km/h)

Morning Low: -40

Afternoon High: -32

 

Monday - Mostly cloudy. 40% chance of light snow in the afternoon & evening.

Light wind. (S 10 km/h)

Morning Low: -33

Afternoon High: -22

 

Temperature rising overnight.

 

Tuesday - Mostly cloudy. 40% chance of light snow.

Wind becoming NW 20-30 km/h

Temperature falling through the day.

Morning: -15

Afternoon: -18  

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