Environment and Climate Change (ECCC) is predicting that Friday morning could see a windchill near minus 50 degrees Celsius.

Friday may also see the coldest temperatures at night during the several-day arctic front that much of Alberta is currently experiencing.

Airdrie's forecast predicts that Friday will see mainly sunny skies during the day, with a daytime high of a frigid minus 33 degrees and a windchill nearly doubling that. The afternoon will not be much warmer, with a wind chill of -39 predicted. However, the nighttime low is currently forecast at minus 47 degrees Celsius - not factoring any windchill into that prediction. 

While Rocky View Schools did not announce any bus cancellations or school closures on Thursday morning, parents will have to monitor the weather situation for Friday.

According to RVS's inclement weather policy, 'school buses do not typically run on mornings when the temperature is at or lower than minus 40 degrees Celsius without wind chill.'

"When weather is severe or road conditions are hazardous, certain bus routes may be cancelled. However, this does not necessarily mean schools are closed. Once student transportation has begun, a school will not close until regular dismissal time," RVS added.

Parents and guardians are advised to monitor the situation should school closures happen on Friday. RVS has also reminded parents that several factors are considered for closing schools due to extreme weather. 

According to board policy, the decision to close one or more schools will be made by 5:30 a.m. by the Superintendent or designate after consultation with designated Principals and Trustees.

"[Factors] include current and forecasted temperature and wind chill, road conditions, the amount of snow and ice, school building constructions and school location. This decision is made early in the morning before school starts or buses are running. Ultimately, the final decision to send a child to the bus stop or school rests with parents," RVS said on its website.

However, it's not just schools that are being impacted by the extreme cold. Several popular ski hills and resorts have announced that they will be closed for the next several days.

  • Winsport, Calgary has been closed since Wednesday and will remain closed till Friday, January 12.
  • Sunshine Village, Banff announced that the resort would be closed on Thursday. According to its website, the resort will update skiiers as to operational hours for Friday shortly.
  • Nakiska Ski Area, Kananaskis Country, is closed on Thursday and Friday, January 12. 
  • Mount Norquay Ski Resort, Banff
    • Skiing and riding: According to its website, Spirit and Cascade Lifts and the Sundance Magic Carpet will be operating, with a delayed start, with plans to have to have these lifts open by 11 a/m.m. Mystic and North American Lifts will be closed.
    • As per Saturday and Sunday - the resort said that it will be watching the weather and it will continue to update, but delayed opening times and possible lift closures could be possible.
  • Several other ski hills and resorts in Northern Alberta have also announced closures.

The extreme cold warning issued by ECCC on Wednesday continues to be in effect for Airdrie and much of the surrounding areas. According to the extreme col warning, over the weekend, morning temperatures will reach minus 40 degrees Celsius in many areas. Wind chills will approach minus 50. Extreme cold warnings are issued when very cold temperatures or wind chill creates an elevated risk to health such as frost bite and hypothermia.

"Slight improvement in the temperature is forecast for early next week, but certainty is low and below normal temperatures are likely to continue."

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