January 30th, 2019 will go down as a record breaker for some parts of Southern Manitoba as bitterly cold temperatures continued for a second consecutive day. This current stretch of weather is the coldest the province has experienced in 15 years, with many previous record lows for the Pembina and Red Valleys for January 30th set in 2004.
According to data from Environment Canada, the following weather stations recorded unofficial new record lows Wednesday morning:
Brandon -42.9 previous -42.2 (1893)
Pilot Mound -40.0 previous -37.9 (2004)
Carman -40.0 previous -37.3 (2004)
The following Environment Canada weather stations came close to setting new records Wednesday morning:
Sprague -40.4 current is -43.4 (2004)
Winnipeg (Airport) -39.9 current is –41.7 (1899)
Emerson -38.3 current is -40.3 (2004)
Gretna -37.7 current is -38.9 (2004)
Melita -38.4 current is -38.6 (2004)
Morden -35.8 current is -37.0 (2004)
Amanda Prysizney with Environment Canada says a polar vortex is creating these extreme cold conditions. She notes there is a really broad area of low pressure all the way up in the atmosphere. At the surface, it is a ridge of high pressure bringing the clear sky and cold weather from the north.
"It's so broad that these really, really cold temperatures are coming down from the Arctic and they are able to make their way well into the United States," explains Prysizney.
In fact, she says residents living in Northern Florida woke up this morning to +2 degrees.
"The cold air is really dramatic," she says. "Really, really strong circulation associated with that polar vortex."
Environment Canada is forecasting relief by Friday, but, after a weekend of near-normal temperatures, Prysizney says the chill will return next week when overnight lows are again expected to reach -30 degrees.
"Be very, very careful with these temperatures," she warns. "Adjust your plans accordingly to take care and prevent any unnecessary harm due to the cold."