The new year started off with some relief from the extended cold snap the gripped not only the region but the province and much of the country. While some of the east continues to battle the cold, Environment Canada was able to drop many of the warnings in place in the west.
The first Extreme Cold Warning was issued Christmas Day for the Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Valleyview region along with the area to the north that includes Peace River, Fairview, High Prairie and Manning. It stayed in place for the seven day stretch between Christmas and New Year’s in many areas across the country, something Global Meteorologist Ross Hull says is unusual.
“In this case, extreme cold warnings have stretched from Yukon to Quebec — an arctic air mass about 4,000 km wide — so with this arctic outbreak, over 18 million Canadians have been united in frigid weather.”
During that week in Grande Prairie temperatures averaged anywhere from -20 Celsius to -30 Celsius but with the windchill temperatures reached as low as -46 Celsius on December 30th.
The temperatures forced cities and towns across the country to cancel or alter their New Year’s Eve festivities including the City of Grande Prairie.
There is still an extreme cold warning in place for the farthest sections of northern Alberta including High Level, Rainbow Lake, Fort Vermilion and the Mackenzie Highway area. Wind in the Grande Prairie region remain strong, late afternoon readings at the airport Monday show gusts between 50 km/h to 70 km/h.