It was a bitterly cold end to the 2018, and the teeth chattering temperatures will continue for the first day of the 2019. Daytime highs in the -23 to -25 range over the past couple days, coupled with gust winds, have meant windchill values in the -40s.
Throwing an extra layer or two of winter clothing on, and ensuring the block heater cord is working, aren't the only things people have been doing. They'vealso been capturing some amazing pictures of sundogs in the sky over the Pembina Valley.
"The bitterly cold temperatures have definitely lent themselves to some stunning moments, that's for sure," noted CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner when asked about the meteorological phenomenon. "In shorstrokes, sundogs are caused when ice crystals high in the atmosphere refract sunlight, causing those bright spots to either side of the sun. The official term for the sight is parhelion."
Sumner added New Year's Day will more than likely be the last opportunity to catch a sundog on your camera, because a significant warm up is on the way later this week, which means conditions will no longer be prime for their appearance.
"A warm front moving in from the west will bring a significantly warmer air-mass to the region starting Wednesday," explained Sumner. "Tomorrow will be the transitional day, with daytime highs in the minus single digits around -4 to -6. The big-time warm up will be Thursday and Friday when temperatures will soar past freezing, potentially in the +3 to +5 range, which is 15 to 17 degrees above average for this time year. Our normal daytime high for the first week of January is around -12."
The warm weather will continue through Saturday, with a move back to seasonal temperatures for the start of next week, and the return of thousands of students back to school.