OTTAWA -- Extreme cold is gripping the capital for the start of the first long weekend of 2020.

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for Ottawa and eastern Ontario.

The forecast called for the temperature to drop to -26C this morning, with the wind chill it would feel like minus 35.

Environment Canada’s forecast says temperatures will drop to -25C Friday night. With the wind chill, it will feel like minus 30 overnight. 

Ottawa Public Health has also issued a frostbite warning. A frostbite warning is issued when the wind chill is expected to drop below -35.

The health agency warns with a wind chill of -35 or colder, “exposed skin can freeze in less than 10 minutes.”

Ottawa Public Health tips to prevent frostbite

  • Get to a warm area before frostbite sets in
  • Keep extra mittens and gloves in the car, house or school bag
  • Wear larger sized mittens over your gloves
  • Wear a hat
  • Wear a neck warmer to protect the chin, lips and cheeks
  • Avoid drinking alcohol

Ottawa Public Health’s tips to look for the four “P”s of frostbite

  1. Pink – affected areas will be reddish in colour. This is the first sign of frostbite
  2. Pain – affected areas will become painful
  3. Patches – white, waxy feeling patches show up – skin is dying
  4. Pricklies – the areas will then feel numb