Environment Canada said that on Thurs morning more than 20 communities in Ontario experienced temperatures colder than they had ever recorded before on Nov 22.
Thursday morning also saw 11 of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial capitals at below-freezing levels.
In Toronto, a temperature of -15.4C was recorded at Buttonville Municipal Airport, breaking the previous daily record of -14.1C from 2008 (solar minimum of cycle 23).
Montreal’s low temperature of -17.7C — a far cry from the 4C that November 22 usually brings — was more than three degrees colder than the previous record, which had stood since 1972 (on the down slope of weak solar cycle 20).
And a much older record was broken in Ottawa, where thermometers at the Canadian Department of Agriculture plunged to -18.7C — more than four degrees colder than the previous Nov. 22 low set in 1895 (the Centennial Minimum).
“This is really what we should see in the dead of winter, the third week of January, not the third week of November,” said climatologist Dave Phillips.
“We know winter is still a month away and this feels almost painful.”
Alexandre Parent, from Environment Canada, says cold air masses coming from the far north aren’t uncommon at this time of year, but he says it’s been a colder than normal autumn around Hudson Bay.
Under normal circumstances, the waters will tend to moderate the cold arctic blasts somewhat, but Parent says, that’s not happening now:
“Hudson Bay is already more than 40% iced up, and usually that’s not the case,” Parent concluded.
To the far west, however, temperatures have remained a comparatively balmy 8C to 10C — and this is exactly the pattern we’d expect to see during the onset of a Grand Solar Minimum.
For more on that read this article from Oct 16: