By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on December 29, 2021.
The wind chill touched minus -50 Â° C in Medicine Hat on Tuesday morning as extreme cold gripped southern Alberta.
This led to almost deserted streets at dawn, but also to many calls for tow truck service.
“We’re tearing our hair out, but we should be caught up by the afternoon,” said Willie Langille of Willie’s Towing, who said even newer vehicles need a boost as freezing cold lingered throughout the day. The extremely cold and icy roads also produced a number of punctures.
Langille said that the fact that it was a slower vacation week may have reduced the number of calls, as many hatters could squat rather than run to work.
âWe had a lot of cold weather, and it was bad, but not absolutely crazy,â he said.
“What else can you expect when it’s so cold?” ”
Medicine Hat hit its lowest temperature at 5 a.m. Tuesday, with the mercury dropping to 37.2 Â° C at the airport weather station. With the wind it looked like minus-49C.
This far eclipsed the recent actual minimum temperature of minus -25 Â° C, posted in 2017, according to Environment Canada.
Temperatures like those on Tuesday had not been seen since last February, when a polar vortex swept over Alberta to end the worst period of winter.
In the area this week, Maple Creek fell below -40 Â° C by 9 a.m. in calm conditions, and the town of Cypress Hill Provincial Park in Saskatchewan saw -38 Â° C in the early morning hours.
Havre, Mont. reported a wind chill of minus-49F (minus-45C) at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Daytime highs are expected in the mid-20s for the remainder of the week, while a slight warming is expected on the weekends, including a high of -7C on New Years Day on Saturday.
Heavy electricity use across Alberta throughout Monday prompted the Alberta power system operator to issue a statement asking customers to save electricity. Demand the night before pushed prices up to $ 1,000 per megawatt from 5 pm.
Electricity demand peaked at 11,500 megawatts at 6 p.m., about 2% below the all-time record winter demand.
That alert expired at 1 a.m., although electricity prices remained high overnight and until Tuesday.