Polar vortex keeping Montrealers indoors

"A dangerous cold," say Natasha Ramsahai, chief meteorologist, at CityNews 680, about temperatures feeling like -40 and below on Friday as a polar vortex hit Montreal. Felisha Adam reports.

Friday Montrealers were sure to leave their homes bundled up – gloves, a hat, a scarf, and jackets zipped all the way up, and today is definitely not a gloves day but one for mittens.

That’s because a polar vortex hit the city, and as of Friday morning temperatures were at -26°C, but feeling like close to -40°C with the wind chill.

“This cold is dangerous cold, especially when we start talking about wind chills,” explained chief meteorologist for CityNews 680, Natasha Ramsahai. “In the case of Montreal and Ottawa and areas along the Saint Lawrence, when that wind chill hits -40°C, -41°C, -42°C, that risk of frostbite increases so exposed skin can freeze in a matter of minutes.”

Many playgrounds at elementary schools were left empty Friday as temperatures around 11 a.m. were feeling like -38°C.

“I love it. I love it. I love it. Yeah, it’s. We need more of this, you know, it’s not that bad. It’s just a matter of dressing. It’s not my favourite as you can see by the tears running down my face,” said one Sinclair Laird in Parc-Extension student CityNews spoke with.

Another student saying, “I was wearing a scarf a hat snow pants a jacket gloves and I was wearing another sweater and another shirt on top.”

“It felt like you were going to be like frozen. Like a lot of wind was going in your face and you felt like you could just like suddenly fall in the snow and be like where am I.”


Students at Sinclair Laird in Parc-Extension stay inside during Quebec’s cold snap.

Some students urged fellow Montrealers to give to those most in need. “We’re trying our best. It’s important to recognize that as cold as we are, there are many houseless people that need resources,” said one student.

“Warming stations and shelters are basically the only resources people have, and we’ve got to make sure our community survives until the next day.”

Around 2 p.m. the temperature in Montreal was steady at -26°C and feeling like -40°C. But not to fear – relief is just around the corner.

“This is a short-lived cold spell So this polar vortex is coming and it’s going so it’s going to be out of here in about a day and a half or so,” said Ramsahai. “Temperatures are really warming up. We’re going to be, in fact, above seasonal. So going from well below to well above seasonal.

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