Temperatures below -40 ° C on Monday and Tuesday gripped the inhabitants of the Yukon capital so far accustomed to a rather mild winter.
As always, social networks were quickly seized with pictures of thermometers showing the variations in temperature from one household to another or the activities for which the bravest were ready to face the cold.
Environment and Climate Change Canada warning awareness meteorologist Armel Castellan explains that while it is unmistakably cold, these are not records, nor quite the conditions required to issue an extreme cold warning.
In the coldest this morning it was -41.9 ° C, and with the 4 km \ h [wind chill], we saw -48. For the Yukon, it’s -50 ° C, just temperatures, or with wind chill and for at least two hours [to issue a warning] , explains the specialist.
Mr. Castellan also believes that Yukoners have become accustomed to the warmer temperatures of recent months, if not years, due, he says, to global warming.
For those who remember Whitehorse 30, 40 or 50 years ago, it was much more normal to see the temperatures that you are experiencing. Armel Castellan, meteorologist, Environment and Climate Change Canada
In the territory, the average recorded in January was 15.2 ° C, or 5 ° C above the seasonal normal. In December, the average was 2.9 ° C above normal.
So, being in February with such cool temperatures is still quite exceptional, so yes, if the population has not experienced -48 ° C or -49 ° C, it will cause a fairly thermal shock , he notes.
While the mercury at the Whitehorse airport froze at -41 ° C, in nearby valleys the mercury dropped even further. Armel Catellan says this is a known feature of the Yukon and Alaska, where
a basin will collect the coldest of temperatures .
The record recorded for February 9 in Whitehorse remains that of 1943. That day the mercury plummeted to -49.4 ° C, not counting the wind chill. The record for February 10 was recorded in 1979 with a mercury of -43.9 ° C.
The meteorologist promises that these cold temperatures will last only ten days with a gradual warming from this week. The mercury should then rise to -30 ° C.