Deep Freeze

January 12, 2007 at 11:40 pm 43 comments

“We are in the centre of a cold arctic blast.”  These are the words I want to borrow from John Sauder of CKY News because they describe perfectly well what we are experiencing here in Southern Manitoba. 

It started on Thursday morning with a blowing snow.  Temperature was minus 23C with a windchill factor of minus 32.  I told the kids to bundle up.  I blew dry Ryan’s hair before he went out of the house.  You don’t want to go outside with wet hair in weather like this. 

This is Ryland getting ready to go out of the house.  Snow pants, jacket, winter boots, gloves, and make sure you cover up the head.  Did you know that you lose a lot of heat through your head?

snow suit snow suit  snow suit 

These are his boots.  This is the ideal footwear for winter.  They have thick removable liners and spikes on the soles for traction against the slippery ice.

winter boots 

I was also bundled up.  I don’t wear snow pants nor long johns (long underwear, I don’t like them).  But I have these leg warmers that I wear under my jeans.  I also wore two pairs of socks because I don’t have winter boots (I should really buy a pair).  Wearing layers of clothing is the key to keeping warm in an extreme temperature like this.  I also covered half of my face with a scarf because it’s kind of hard to breathe in cold air and I wanted to expose less skin as much as possible.

blowing snow    

Driving conditions were bad as visibility was only 5 m.  Vehicles had their fog lights on.  I took this picture while I was at my patrol post, in between crossing the children.  There were not a lot of kids walking.  Some of the parents must have driven their children to school because it was cold and it was hard to walk with the wind gusting like that. 

I stayed out there for only ten minutes.  As I was walking home, I met a kid who crosses the street where my post is.  Well, he was late, and I was already shivering and my mitts were already frosty and I could feel that my eyelashes were getting frosty as well.  

When I went out in the afternoon to do my patrol duty, I didn’t see any other school patrols out there. I felt so lonely.  I wondered if I should have gone out at all.  I forgot to ask when we had the patrol meeting when patrols are excused from their posts, at what temperature and windchill factor?  So when my son came home from school, I asked him if I was indeed the only patrol out there.  He said yes.  It turned out that the principal announced over the P.A. before they were dismissed that the patrols were to stay outside only for five minutes because the windchill was already minus 40. 

What is windchill?  You might ask. 

Windchill is a still-air temperature that would have the same cooling effect on exposed human flesh as a given combination of temperature and wind speed called also chill factor, windchill factor, windchill index. 

Here is an example given by John Sauder:

Minus 30 degrees C with a wind of 20 km/h will produce a windchill of minus 43.

Minus 30 degrees C with a wind of 30 km/h will produce a windchill of minus 48.

Minus 35 degrees C with a wind of 30 km/h will produce a windchill of minus 52.

Minus 40 degrees C with a wind of 30 km/h will produce a windchill of minus 59.

These are the effects of windchill on exposed skin:

Minus 10 to minus 24  –  Uncomfortably cold

Minus 25 to minus 39  –  Risk of frostbite

Minus 40 to minus 49  –  Frostbite can occur in less than 10 minutes

Minus 50 and colder    –  Frostbite can occur in less than 2 minutes 

A windchill warning was announced last night.  Windchill went lower up to minus 41 overnight. 

And this (Friday) morning, we woke up to a temperature of minus 35, windchill of minus 48.  Ay ay ay ay ay.  Windchill warning is still in effect and will last up to a few days. 

No school buses were running but schools were still open.  Some schools outside of Winnipeg were closed.  There were transit delays of up to 19 minutes. 

Reggie (my 17-year old) took a cab to school.  My sister drove Ryan (my 12-year old) and her own kids to school.  I asked Ryland, my third-grader if he wanted to go to school.  He said yes at first because he didn’t want to miss Spelling test today.  But when he saw minus 48 on the TV screen, he said that he’d just stay home.  So he did.  And it’s on days like these that I am really grateful that I work at home.  I didn’t have to go out there in that treacherous and viciously cold weather. 

There is a lot of condensation in the house.  This is ice forming on our windowsill.  Notice how dark it still is outside and this was already 8:00 a.m.  Half an hour before the sun rose.

 ice on windowsill ice on windowsill

This is frost on the bedroom window.

frost on window 

I didn’t plan to go outside but I opened the door just to get a feel of it.  It felt like stepping inside a deep huge freezer.


Believe it or not, that’s our newly-placed chimney at the side of our house.  We had a new heater installed just last week and I didn’t expect our chimney to look like that.  Oh well.

Now you don’t have to wonder why Manitobans are tough.  Once you experience temperatures like these, minus 19 is really nothing.  And this is not the worst we’ve had.  In 2004, it went down to minus 50.


Entry filed under: Winnipeg, Winter, Winterpeg.

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43 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bingskee  |  January 13, 2007 at 2:10 am

    wow… that must be very cold. mahina pa naman ako sa lamig. brrrr…

    happy new year, irene!

  • 2. Karen  |  January 13, 2007 at 2:54 am

    i almost didn’t go to class today but good thing i did coz most of the people i copy notes from skipped class today. they said this cold spell (it should be “cold curse”) will ast until next week. agh.

  • 3. kathy  |  January 13, 2007 at 3:29 am

    how do you heat up your whole house? here in japan there are expensive heating systems which use hot steam for heating, but the unit and installation will cost you an arm and a leg. 🙂 but one of my friends absolutely swear that it heats the house wonderfully. in our house we just use the good ol’ propane gas heaters.

    what do you use for fuel in your chimney?

  • 4. Lazarus  |  January 13, 2007 at 5:13 am

    I don’t know if I can survive a freezing temperature like that. I would even wake up to turn off the aircon at dawn, when it’s very cold already.

  • 5. ann  |  January 13, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Alam mo bang nag snow sa ibang part ng saudi? No wonder na ganyan ngayon sa inyo di ba? This is the coldest winter since 1994 na mapunta ako rito. Bumaba ang temperature sa place namin up to 2*C at wala kaming heater sa bahay, nasa rooftop ang flat namin at talagang ang lamig.

    Puro reklamo na nga mga bata sa lamig, what more kung nandyan sila, naku baka magpa-uwi ng pinas.

    Parang astronaut pala kayo palagi sa suot nyo, ang hirap yatang kumilos pag ganyan kakapal ang suot.

  • 6. pining  |  January 13, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    hi niceheart, sobra naman palang lamig dyan! I didn’t realize that spell would last that long.. take care 🙂

  • 7. Ms Fair Face  |  January 13, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    gee, the weather looks so harsh!

    is this winter going to last till April?

  • 8. Wil  |  January 13, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Your son looks like he’s about to climb Mt. Everest. 😀 There’s also a chill of Arctic wind here in Northern California, but it’s nothing compared to what you guys are going through. Stay warm! 🙂

  • 9. Sidney  |  January 13, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Wow! I hope I will never experience such a cold. When it is +20°C I already think it is a bit chilly!

  • 10. JO  |  January 13, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    i experienced our first snow blowing with a wind of 50km/hr… and a windchill of -35C last wednesday… grabe! i feel my cheek turning icicles from the cold and wind. buti na lang at 1 day lang yan.

    you should invest on a really good winter boots, you don’t want to get frostbite. “,) i need to buy a new one too, mine is worn out already.

    be safe!

  • 11. niceheart  |  January 13, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Bing, that’s what newcomers say when they first come here. But eventually, they get used to the cold weather.

    Karen, I guess we could call it cold curse. 🙂 And hopefully it doesn’t last very long.

  • 12. niceheart  |  January 13, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Kathy, we use natural gas for our furnace. The cost is pretty reasonable naman.

    Lazarus. People are good in adapting to their environment. So I think you can also survive here. 🙂

  • 13. niceheart  |  January 13, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Wow! Snow in Saudi. That’s a surprise. Astronaut is a good comparison, Ann. Hindi naman mahirap kumilos. Medyo awkward nga lang but you get used to it.

    Hay naku, pining, sobra nga. Thanks. 🙂

  • 14. niceheart  |  January 13, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Hello Ms Fair Face. Yeah, winter lasts up to March and sometimes April. But it’s not always this harsh.

    Wil, maybe climb a snow pile. 🙂 So it also gets chilly in N. California, huh? Thanks.

  • 15. niceheart  |  January 13, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Oh, Sidney. +20 C, that’s nothing. 🙂

    So you know what I’m talking about, JO. The shoes I wear are insulated and have the spikes but yeah I also intend to buy boots.

  • 16. Shoshana  |  January 14, 2007 at 12:57 am

    Ops…my weather comment went to the wrong spot! We’re at 33 and so glad Monday was holiday!

    We don’t know freezing here in Texas!

  • 17. noypiako  |  January 14, 2007 at 1:08 am

    this might be the effect of climate change. there is still no evidence about the weather we are experiencing here in canada linking it to climate change and global warming.lets start to be eco-friendly.

  • 18. vic  |  January 14, 2007 at 1:45 am

    I was in Winnipeg way back in 75 but in summer time for 6 good weeks, before started working here in ontario. got my driver’s license there, would have stayed, but can’t find work and just can’t cook my own meals. anyways, we are quite lucky here in toronto, so far we have no snow yet and the temperature is still in th high above zero. scary part is it could hit anytime soon, and just like manitoba we are still part of the true north, cold but free…careful driving and walking…

  • 19. Toe  |  January 14, 2007 at 2:18 am

    Niceheart, just reading your entry makes me feel cold and I need to wear a sweater. 🙂 Yes, you’re right, it’s those extreme weather that could make a person stuff.

    Gusto ko pa naman magpa-post sa Toronto or Ottawa in 2010… di ko yata kakayanin. E 20 degrees nga, nanginginig na ko e… what more -35 or that windchill thing? Brrrr. 🙂

  • 20. tin  |  January 14, 2007 at 3:29 am

    lamig naman dyan, dito rin sa Pinas ang lamig na rin. Mas malamig ang weather ngayon kesa nung pasko. Kaya ang “deduction” (hehehehe) ko e, winter sa Japan, o kaya yung mga katabing bansa namin. Hehe! Paglabas ko ng bahay para utusan ni mama, grabe ang lamig. Di ko kinaya magtagal. Pano pa kaya dyan? Grrrr..

  • 21. haze  |  January 14, 2007 at 4:16 am

    Frenchies should go skiing in your place am sure it would be lots of fun compared to Frech Alps! I really would like to visit your place soon, it seems it is a very peaceful and one of the cleanest place too:) ! Stay warm.

  • 22. bw  |  January 14, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Minus the clothiung it takes 3 minutes for your skin to freeze in a -50C deg weather.. Ouch… better bundle up – big time 🙂

  • 23. domestic rat  |  January 14, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    I’m glad I’m not living there… I can’t imagine all swaddled up in warm clothing by the time I get really big!

  • 24. KD  |  January 15, 2007 at 5:07 am

    Hello tita NH, sensya na ngayon lang naka dalaw kasi sobrang lamig ng windchill hehe nagsuot muna ako ng 15 pares na tshirt saka 10 socks kaya lang di ako makalakad hehehe.

    Di ako nagtataka kung bakit “tough” ang mga Manitobans kasi yung mga beduins matatag din kasi all their lives eh sa desert sila nakatira summer man o winter time. Temperatures during summertime here reaches 50+ degress

  • 25. ipanema  |  January 15, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Aahhhh…verrrryyyy cold! I got that feeling from your description alone. Di puede rayuma ko! People living in this temperature must be tough. That’s what I believe. 🙂

  • 26. eric  |  January 15, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    I tip my hat off to you guys for having the tolerance for such cold weather. Don’t you get “ice cream headache” from the wind chill? I do.

    Btw, how are the recently transplanted older Filipino folks (like parents of Pinoy immigrants) faring in that cold weather? Are they all right?

  • 27. niceheart  |  January 15, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Aren’t you lucky, Shoshana. 🙂

    Noypiako, actually, this kind of weather is not unusual for Winnipeg. But yes, I am also worried about global warming and the different climate changes in different parts of the world. As you said, we should start doing our part in being eco-friendly.

  • 28. niceheart  |  January 15, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Vic, isn’t Winnipeg lovely in the summer? 🙂 Yeah, even though you’re in warm Toronto, it’s still part of the true north, cold and yes, free. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Toe, Ottawa and generally, Toronto are a lot warmer than Manitoba. So you don’t have to worry. Don’t let my stories scare you. We are in a prairie province that’s why it gets cold like this.

  • 29. niceheart  |  January 15, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Tama ka nga Tin. This time of the year is winter in most countries. When I was still there and I would feel the chilly air, that’s what I also thought, that it’s winter in the other part of the world. 🙂

    Actually, haze, there is not skiing place here in Winnipeg. Alberta is the best place to visit if he wants to ski. 🙂

  • 30. niceheart  |  January 15, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    BW, yup, that’s right. And we are still experiencing these extreme windchills and it’s been five days already. The forecast says that it will go back to normal by Wednesday morning. Hopefully.

    Oh, DR, yes you are right to be glad. I’ve had two pregnancies during the winter time and I remember having a hard time pulling my boots on because of my big belly. Congrats again. 🙂

  • 31. niceheart  |  January 15, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    KD and ipanema. I can attest to you that we are really a tough bunch.

    KD, hindi ka nga makakalakad kung ganyan kadami ang suot mo:)

    Ipanema, mahirap nga ang may rayuma dito. Buti na lang wala pa ako niyan. 🙂

  • 32. niceheart  |  January 15, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    Eric, I used to tell my kids that if they don’t cover up their head, they’re gonna get brain freeze, like the one when you get when you drink slurpees. Minsan kasi matitigas ang ulo especially the oldest one because he wouldn’t want to mess his moussed hair. But with windchill like this, he knows he has to cover up or he’ll get sick.

    As for the older folks, they are alright naman. Alam mo naman tayo, we could easily cope up to any kinds of situation. As long as you’re bundled up, you’ll be fine. And I also know quite a few folks who go back there for an extended vacation, like 5-6 months, during the winter and they come back here in the spring.

  • 33. Hsin  |  January 16, 2007 at 12:29 am

    Haven’t been round for a while. My – that’s a nasty winter you’re having there. I’m blessed to be here in HK where “freezing” temperatures consist of temps dipping to 5 deg C in the middle of the night. That said, your home is probably warmer than mine. HK just doesn’t have homes that keep the heat in. They figure why bother since it never gets that cold anyway. Makes for miserable mornings for the kids. Also, you don’t have pollution blowing over from the Pearl River Delta in China that causes miserable haze to hang in the air all day long…

  • 34. Prab  |  January 16, 2007 at 2:03 am

    Hello, blog-hopping took me here, and I hope you don’t mind if I hang around. 🙂

    Like most people who hasn’t experienced snow yet, I was also wondering when I would finally be able to touch the real thing. But after reading this article, I’m starting to have second thoughts. Brrrrr! 😕

  • 35. Kyels  |  January 16, 2007 at 6:09 am

    I cannot take cold temperatures; I think I’d freeze there, if I am there right now of course.

    But Ryland’s suit looked really tempting and he looked cute in it … Heehee.


  • 36. Belle  |  January 16, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    hi niceheart!,

    brrrrr! i wonder how i am going to survive in that kind of weather. do u get mail delivery? i deliver mail in the higher elevation of AZ.

    my friend is from Winnipeg, too.

    stay warm!

  • 37. niceheart  |  January 16, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Welcome back, Hsin. So it’s also bad there huh? No heater? I would understand how miserable that is. Even with nasty weather that we are all experiencing, we should try to look at the bright side of things. 🙂

    Hi Prab. Welcome to my blog. I don’t mind if you hang around. I like meeting new bloggers. 🙂 Please don’t be scared of my snow stories. It’s not always like these. And there are other places where it snows and it doesn’t get cold like this. 🙂

  • 38. niceheart  |  January 16, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Kyels, I bet you’re keeping warm where you are right now. 🙂 Yes, we are still freezing here and I hope that it gets warmer soon.

    Hi Belle, yes we still get daily mail. And I pity those poor mail carriers. But they know how to bundle up in this kind of weather. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  • 39. Prab  |  January 17, 2007 at 3:08 am

    I’ve had experience with sub-zero temparatures, but the lowest I experienced was like -3 lang yata. During my first winter in Riyadh. But -48.. that’s a big difference. 😕

  • 40. Of cold spells and 12-year-olds « Journey to Honeyville  |  February 10, 2007 at 12:59 am

    […] 10th, 2007 We’re under a cold spell once again.  We’ve had windchills of minus 30s and minus 40s for about a week now.  And it […]

  • 41. sexor  |  December 12, 2007 at 6:59 am


  • 42. online  |  April 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Salamat para sa mga kagiliw-giliw na blog

  • 43. driving schools alberta  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!


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