By now, Canadians should be used to cold winter weather. However, the season always seems to have more it can throw at you. In particular, Nunavut’s winter weather is about to get a major blast of extra cold, with the wind chill dropping temperatures to dangerous lows.
Environment Canada has issued extreme cold warnings for five areas in Nunavut: Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Grise Fiord, Resolute, and Taloyoak. These areas could see wind chills dropping the temperature to anywhere from -55 to -65 degrees.
According to Environment Canada, these wind chill temperatures are expected to persist into the weekend. These low temperatures can be incredibly dangerous if you are exposed to them for too long.
The risk is even greater for “young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter.”
According to a tweet from Chris Murphy at the Weather Network, at temperatures between -55 and -65, you can get frostbite in less than two minutes.
Frostbite can be extremely serious and can be recognized by a number of visible symptoms.
Frostbite occurs most frequently in the extremities including your ears, fingers, and toes. Since it causes the area to go numb, it’s sometimes hard to even tell you have it.
Frostbite first appears as a reddening of the skin, known as frostnip. This is the least serious stage of frostbite. From there, however, it can escalate to superficial frostbite and deep frostbite.
Severe frostbite can lead to a number of possibly serious health problems, including tissue death and infection. In children, frostbite can even lead to growth defects.
It’s always important to dress warmly in order to mitigate the cold. You should also remember that your pets need to be kept warm as well!
Meanwhile, the rest of Canada is experiencing relatively average winter temperatures, with only some snowfall and rainfall warnings for B.C. in effect.