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New Year’s Eve weather: the warm, the cold and the -55

Motorists dig out their cars in Montreal on Dec. 15, 2013, as more than 20 cm of snow fell.


Among major Canadian cities, the coldest place to ring in 2014 is Winnipeg. The warmest:  Where else but Victoria and Vancouver?

Meanwhile, these cities share a surprisingly similar forecast: Whitehorse, Calgary and Halifax.

And the trio of Edmonton, Toronto and St. John's are expected to start the new year at –12 C and falling.

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Whitehorse = Calgary = Windsor = Halifax

Residents of Calgary, Whitehorse, southwestern Ontario and the Halifax region, as well as much of Nova Scotia, can expect overnight lows between -10 C and -15 C tonight and highs Wednesday between -5 C and -10 C. It's a similar picture in central Alberta.

Edmonton, Toronto and St. John's will unite in celebrating the end of 2013 at temperatures around -12 C with the mercury sinking slightly lower on Wednesday.

Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and the shores of the St. Lawrence enjoy daytime highs Tuesday of -15 C, settling to the low minus-20s overnight and greeting 2014 amid wind chill ratings of about -30 C on Wednesday.

Who's cold

Winnipeg expects a daytime New Year's Eve high of -31 C, an overnight low of -34 C and a sunny Wednesday with a high of -27 C (none of those include the wind chill). Elsewhere in Manitoba, extreme wind chills drive things down even further in the regions of Steinbach and Morden while the Thompson, Nelson House and Split Lake regions should touch -48 C with the wind chill factor.

In Regina on New Year's Eve a light wind and an overnight low of -29 C should add up to a wind chill of -40 C, which will warm to a balmy -22 C on Wednesday. Elsewhere in Saskatchewan the picture is similar, although the Shaunavon, Maple Creek, Val Marie and Cypress Hills areas will soar to -9 C. The overnight low in Camsell Portage is -43 C and that's without the wind chill.

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An Alberta cold spot ranges from Lloydminster through the Fort McMurray region, with daytime highs near -24 C and, on Wednesday a wind chill of -35 C.

Areas of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and northwestern Nova Scotia are expected to see overnight wind chills of -25 C to -28 C and a wind chill of -25 C to -30 C on New Year's Day.

In northern Ontario, Thunder Bay enjoys a steady wind chill forecast of -39 C through the day and overnight. Lows of -36 C to -40 C prevail on New Year's Eve in the areas of Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances, Rainy Lake, Upsala, Quetico, Ear Falls, Sioux Lookout and Kapuskasing. It will be slightly colder in Lake Nipigon, Ont.

Who's warm

Residents of Vancouver, Victoria, the Sunshine Coast, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii can expect temperatures to remain in a narrow band between 5 C and 8 C through Thursday. For non-residents, please note that this means plus 5 C.

Skiers in Whistler will be fretting over a forecast of plus-3 and rain for New Year's Day.

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Temperatures drift just above and below zero for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in B.C.'s Okanagan region. Elsewhere in the Kootenay region of the B.C. interior should be slightly colder except for the Fraser Canyon region where the New Year's Eve low should stay above zero.

The mountain parks regions of Jasper, Banff, Canmore and Kananaskis, as well as parts of southern Alberta, should all see New Year's Day highs near or above zero as well.

Who's really, really cold

In Nunavut's Rankin region, the wind chill on New Year's Eve is expected to reach -55 C, so exposed skin freezes in under two minutes.

In the Old Crow region of Yukon, Tuesday's high of -35 C comes with a light wind to reach an extreme wind chill rating of -50 C. The same forecast is in effect for northern Ontario's regions of Fraserdale, Pledger Lake, Little Abitibi and Kesagami Lake.

Manitoba's Thompson, Nelson House and Split Lake regions should touch -48 C with the wind chill factor on New Year's Eve.

Extreme wind chill warnings of -45 C and below are in effect across the Labrador region for New Year's Day including Goose Bay, Churchill Falls, Labrador City and Kuujjuaq, Que.

Sudbury, Ont. will greet 2014 with a daytime wind chill of -41 C.

Wind chill is expected to drop below -30 C from Val-d'Or across northern Quebec, and into the -40s C from the Saguenay region north.

Information taken from Environment Canada forecasts on Tuesday, Dec. 31.

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