Extreme cold, snow and freezing rain taking hold across Canada

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A messy mix of wintry weather is reported across much of Canada today.

Nearly 4,000 Nova Scotia Power customers remained without electricity Sunday morning, a day after high winds and snow hit the province. Rainfall warnings were issued Sunday for several counties in Nova Scotia.

Anywhere from 13 to 55 millimetres of rain is expected in parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, raising the possibility of localized flooding. Environment Canada says dropping temperatures later in the day could make for slick road conditions.

Flooding in low-lying areas of Newfoundland is possible due to rain that will persist into Sunday night, falling on frozen ground, the weather agency says.

Marine Atlantic has cancelled ferry crossings set for 11:45 p.m. local time Sunday night between Channel-Port aux Basques, N.L. and North Sydney, N.S., citing “adverse weather in the Cabot Strait.”

Environment Canada public weather alerts

The Environment Canada weather map as of Sunday morning. Areas in red are under weather alerts. (Environment Canada)

Freezing rain that brought ice pellets to southern Ontario has ended, but a warning about those conditions remains in effect for eastern Ontario. Parts of central Ontario, including Barrie, Collingwood and Midland are under a snow squall warning.

A freezing rain warning remained in effect for central Quebec. That will change to snow near noon, ending late in the afternoon.

Southern Alberta is under a wind warning and can expect strong westerly winds gusting to 110 km/h, according to Environment Canada. Communities affected include Pincher Creek, Lethbridge and Taber.

-45 C in northern Manitoba

Extreme cold is expected across much of Manitoba with wind chill values expected to make it feel like -40 in the south and -45 or colder in the north.

Manitoba extreme cold weather

Alex Forrest, president of the United Firefighters of Winnipeg, says extreme cold puts society’s most vulnerable at risk of suffering hypothermia. (CBC)

Alex Forrest, president of the United Firefighters of Winnipeg, is urging people to look out for the homeless who may become disorientated if they suffer from hypothermia.

“If you’re driving by a person and they’re sitting in a bus shelter at midnight and you know there’s no bus coming, give us a call. We’ll check out the well-being of that individual,” he said.

“When they go into hypothermia, they’re not thinking right. Their bodies literally start shutting down. Their minds start shutting down.”

Extreme cold conditions are also in the forecast for southern Saskatchewan, where temperatures could feel like -30 or -35 with the wind chill.

Snow, wind and cold in B.C.

A wind warning was issued Sunday for coastal British Columbia. Winds are are expected to gust to 90 km/h before easing late in the afternoon.

An extreme cold warning is in effect for the B.C. Interior thanks to brisk westerly winds. The region is also expecting wet snow, changing to rain in the evening over more inland areas.


Henry McKellar of Vancouver says he has been homeless for 16 years and that the weather this year has been tough on him. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

The City of Vancouver says it’s opening up new emergency overnight spaces for people to protect themselves from a cold snap expected to last until Monday.

A snowfall warning remains in effect for the Sea to Sky stretch of road from West Vancouver to Squamish, where 20 to 30 centimetres are likely by Monday morning.

Similar amounts are forecast for Metro Vancouver, and coastal sections of Vancouver Island may see five to 10 centimetres of snow.

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Extreme cold, snow and freezing rain taking hold across Canada

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