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It's the coldest Feb. 4 in 100 years but it will get warmer


Ottawa is experiencing its coldest Feb. 4 in 100 years.

The temperature at 6 a.m. at was -32.2 C, according to environment Canada, the coldest it has been since 1923, when a temperature of -36.1 C was recorded.

An extreme cold warning was in effect most of the morning, but ended just after 11 a.m. Ottawa Public Health has also issued a frostbite warning.

The wind chill at 11 a.m. was -34. It was -40 at 7 a.m.

Despite the bone-chilling cold, warmer days are ahead. The weather forecast for the capital calls for a high of -14 C Saturday (which is typically the average low for this time of year) with a good chance of light snow in the afternoon.

The polar vortex should recede overnight as the temperature rises to -7 C by Sunday morning. Sunday's high is a relatively tropical 1 C, with about 2 to 4 cm of snow in the forecast.

Monday's outlook is sunny with a high of -6 C, and then clouds and snow return Tuesday with a high of 3 C. Wednesday could see a bit of sun and a high around 0.


Winterlude's outdoor winter attractions will open to the public Saturday, after the extreme cold weather cancelled all outdoor activities on the opening day of the winter festival in Ottawa and Gatineau.

Events are expected to be delayed.


The extreme cold means exposed skin can freeze within minutes and frostbite is a very real risk. 

Ottawa Public Health offers the following tips to prevent frostbite during the extreme cold temperatures.

  •  Get to a warm area before frostbite sets in. If it's too cold outside, consider staying indoors.
  •  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.
  •  Wear waterproof winter boots with room for an extra layer of socks.
  •  Make sure you are able to wiggle your toes in your boots.
  •  Avoid drinking alcohol. Top Stories

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