So, just how cold is it?
With Toronto in the middle of a deep freeze and the City issuing an extreme cold weather alert, the frigid temperatures are a reliable topic of conversation.
Next time you're struggling to make small talk during an awkward elevator ride, try out a few of these cold weather facts from Environment Canada:
- The average daily temperature for a January day in Toronto is around -4C with a daily high of about -1C and a daily low of -7C.
- That's much warmer than the temperatures predicted for this weekend: today's high is set to hit just -8C and on Sunday, the mercury is only expected to reach a high of -13C.
- The current wind chill index — which represents the feeling of cold on your skin, and not the actual temperature — was developed in 2001 by scientists from Canada and the United States.
- Taking the winds into account, it felt like a bracing -21C overnight from Friday to Saturday. At that temperature you're at risk for hypothermia if outside for prolonged periods without proper protective clothing.
- When the wind chill dips below -27C you run the added risk of frost bite. From temperatures of -28 to -39, exposed skin can freeze in 10 to 30 minutes.
- But if you think this cold snap is bad, be thankful you weren't in Kugaaruk, Nunavut on Jan. 13, 1975, when winds of 56 km/h made the air temperature of -51C feel like -78C.
Armed with this knowledge, go forth and make some distinctly Canadian conversation.
-- Christine Dobby, Staff Reporter