Who is afraid of a -50 C wind chill? Most people across Saskatchewan spent the weekend hunkered down inside avoiding the extreme cold, but Colin Frey from Pense actually slept outside on Saturday night.
He didn’t freeze or even get minor frostbite because he knows how to survive in the cold. He is an outdoor skills instructor for high schools and says he just loves being outdoors in any weather. He built a quinzee snow shelter in his back yard where he sleeps whenever he feels like it.
Saskatoon came up just shy of a record low temperature over the weekend, but a different kind of cold weather record was shattered.
In a 26-hour period from Friday night to Saturday night, city repair crews were called to 11 different water main breaks.
That beats the old record of seven breaks in the same time period, which was set the weekend prior. The normal number of breaks for this time of year is one or two per day.
The month of March started with wind chill warnings across Saskatchewan and temperatures up to 20 degrees below seasonal average.
"We have this large ridge of arctic pressure thats pushed into the province bringing unseasonably cold air across all of the prairies, not just southern Saskatchewan but everyone in the prairies is locked into this deep cold air," said Environment Canada meteorologist Rob Paola.
With another severely cold forecast in store for the weekend, the province is urging anyone planning on travelling in Saskatchewan this weekend to take precautions.
The cold weather is doubling the amount of water main breaks and individual water service line breaks at homes the City of Regina usually sees in February.
"About two weeks ago everything kind of went haywire," said John Ullrich, manager of water-sewer construction. A normal February sees his crews attending to around 50 such breaks. This February has more than doubled that number. Even one of his long-time crew members finds the numbers astounding.
Conditions on the highways were getting quite nasty early Friday morning with blowing snow, drifting snow and very bad visibility in some areas.
It looks like all of Saskatchewan will be ringing in the start of March with a brutal blast of winter weather.
Environment Canada meteorologist John Paul Cragg said the forecast of an overnight low for Friday night of -37 C is based on a range of models projecting temperatures between -35 and -44 C.
Whatever the number turns out to be, Cragg said one thing is for sure:
It looks like Saskatoon will be ringing in the start of March with a brutal blast of winter weather.
Environment Canada meteorologist John Paul Cragg said the forecast of an overnight low for Friday night of -39 C is based on a range of models projecting temperatures between -35 and -44 C.
As Saskatchewanians continue to complain about how cold this year’s winter is, animals stuck outside are mostly coping just fine.
“The animals that suffer most are the two-legged human ones because we just would rather whine about it rather than do things to cope with it,” Mark Brigham, head of the biology department at the University of Regina said.
While Saskatoon is on track to see the coldest February in 20 years and the coldest winter in 15 years, according to Environment Canada, this year’s lack of snow is helping animals stay warm.
When the bell rings for afternoon recess at St. Gregory Elementary School in Regina, all too often the playground stays completely silent.
Inside the school classrooms are full of students playing board games while the grade 3 students take their turn for intramural dodge-ball in the gym. Most of these kids can’t quite remember the last time they had outdoor recess.
“Quite a while ago,” answered 12-year-old Vincent Marelli. “I kinda get like restless because it’s annoying not being outside.”