Several people have frozen to death in Canada’s coldest weather in more than a decade. The temperatures have been as low as -59°C recently prompting Canada’s Ministry of Environment to issue an Extreme Cold Warning to all Canadians.
According to Environment Canada’s weather conditions report, Wekweeti in the Northwest Territories confirmed a -51.9 C reading, which the agency says is Canada’s coldest temperature in nearly four years.
Environment Canada meteorologist Terri Lang told CTVNews.ca on Monday that the last time a temperature that cold was recorded in Canada was in March 2017, when the mercury plunged to -54.7°C in Mould Bay, N.W.T. Of course this is lower than the lowest ever recorded temperatures in Canada. Snag in the Yukon territory set the record for the lowest temperature in Canada at -62.8°C in February, 1947. For more than a week that year, cold air from northeastern Siberia stalled over northern Canada.
On Saturday February 6th, a Saskatchewan man froze to death while walking away from home and was found dead the next day.
The 21-year-old man was reported missing to police on Feb. 6. He was found the next day a short distance from his home on George Gordon First Nation, which is located about 115 kilometres northeast of Regina.
The Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service is leading the investigation. The coroner’s office said a complete autopsy will be conducted later this week and that results from the autopsy can take approximately six months
Last weekend’s freezing death is not the only one this year. On January 23, 2021, a woman was found frozen at Avenue Q South and 18th Street West in Saskatoon. Also, on January 3rd, 2021, a man was found frozen on 2800 block of Lorne Avenue in Regina, Saskatchewan. The cause of death is believed to be hypothermia which basically means the victim’s body temperatures dropped to lethal levels.
In Canada, more than 80 people die each year from over-exposure to the cold. Ottawa is one of the coldest capitals in the world. Winter temperature paired with wind can cause severe injuries and even death. Frostbite injuries can also lead to amputations, particularly fingers, toes and other extremities.