More snow, then ‘frostbite in minutes’ with temperatures set to plunge, Skateway unlikely to open by weekend

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Bundle up — after yet more snow Thursday, the mercury is expected to plummet to the lowest levels so far this winter.

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“Frostbite in minutes,” Environment and Climate Change Canada said of conditions Thursday night and Friday.

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Two centimetres of snow is expected Thursday with flurries, at times heavy, beginning in the afternoon and the risk of snow squalls and local blowing snow by late afternoon in the forecast as of Thursday morning.

Thursday’s expected high is -2 C with a wind chill of -9 in the afternoon.

Another 2 cm is expected Thursday night then, by the time flurries end in the evening, clearing skies are expected as the temperature drops to -29 C with a wind chill of -40 overnight.

Friday’s forecast high is -26 C with a wind chill near -42 under mainly sunny skies. Friday night’s low is expected to hit -27 C.

As of Thursday, the National Capital Commission tweeted. “we’ve officially surpassed our record for latest opening date” on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

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“Our previous latest opening date was February 2, 2002. The extreme cold is helping, but not quite enough to build the ice thickness needed to open the Skateway for the 1st weekend of Winterlude.

“Our teams are taking full advantage of the cold weather to safely open a section of the Skateway! Flooding the ice continues tonight.”

Expect sunshine Saturday and a 60 per cent chance of flurries Saturday night. The forecast high — and low — is -17 C.

The cold temperatures will certainly put the winter in Winterlude, getting underway Friday and running through Feb. 20. The capital region’s signature celebration of of the season returns with in-person fun making a comeback after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Temperatures are expected to rebound to 1 C Sunday with a 70 per cent chance of snow. There’s a 40 per cent chance of flurries Sunday night with a forecast low of -15 C.

“Normals” for this time of year are highs of -5 C and lows of -15 C.

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