Residents warned it’s going to be really bloody cold

Yellowknife at -40C on a Wednesday morning in December 2020
Yellowknife at -40C on a Wednesday morning in December 2020. Photo: Shaun Moose Morris

Extreme cold warnings fanned out across the Northwest Territories on Thursday evening, with days of bitter cold ahead for many parts of the North.

The entirety of the Mackenzie River is under an extreme cold warning, as are Yellowknife and communities around Great Slave Lake. The only unaffected communities are Fort Liard, Nahanni Butte, Sambaa K’e, Fort Smith, Paulatuk, and Sachs Harbour.

In Yellowknife, residents were warned to expect unusually low temperatures even by the city’s extreme winter standards.

Yellowknife is expected to hit -45C without wind chill on Saturday night, or -60C with the wind. The city is set to spend most of Friday below -50C with wind chill.



Temperatures won’t relent in the city until Monday at the earliest.

Other parts of the territory, such as the Sahtu and Tłı̨chǫ regions, were already experiencing temperatures below -40C as of Thursday night and were set for similar conditions on Friday.

“A prolonged period of very cold wind chills is expected,” federal forecasters said in a Thursday warning.

“Extremely cold wind chill values of -50 to -60 will continue tonight and Friday. The extreme cold warnings are expected to persist through the weekend in many locations.”