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The city broke a daily weather record this morning when the temperature plunged to -21 C

Posted: January 5, 2018

The temperature dropped to -21 degrees C at around 6 a.m. – a plunge that broke the previous -19.4 C record for this day set in 1968.

by Matthew Van Dongen  Hamilton Spectator

A man’s breath is visible. Hamilton broke a daily weather record this morning when the temperature plunged to -21 C – John Rennison,The Hamilton Spectator file photo

Hamiltonians are shivering through the coldest Jan. 5 since at least 1960, according to Environment Canada.

The temperature dropped to -21 degrees C at around 6 a.m. – a plunge that broke the previous -19.4 C record for this day set in 1968. (Environment Canada weather records for Jan. 5 date back to 1960.)

More potentially record-breaking cold is possible tomorrow if we reach the forecasted low of -23 C, an icy touch below the previous Jan. 6 record of 22.8 C in 2014.

The city has endured a deep freeze since just before Christmas.

Hamilton’s medical officer of health issued a cold weather alert Dec. 25, which is expected to remain in effect until at least Sunday.

Environment Canada also has an “extreme cold” warning for Hamilton, noting northwest winds of up to 50 kilometres had the potential to make the temperature feel as cold as -40 C earlier this morning.

Wind chill temperatures tonight are expected to reach -34 C.

The Spectator has reported local shelters have been stretched to the max during the recent cold snap and more than hundred residents have reported frozen pipes or water service lines since Christmas.

The extreme cold is expected to ease off Sunday, with relatively balmy forecasts of between -1 C and -3 C on tap for later next week.

In the meantime, Environment Canada recommends:

– Covering up. Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill;

– Checking on older family, friends and neighbours;

– keep your pet inside.

Need help?

– Carole Anne’s Place, which is run out of 75 MacNab St. S., offers overflow space for homeless women when single women’s shelters are full. It started Dec. 1 and runs until the end of March. Contact: 905-522-9922, ext. 112

– Public health issues a cold alert when the temperature drops below -15 C. The alert triggers a special response from the city and agencies to help find shelter for the homeless. Contact: 905-546-2424, ext. 8035

– The Salvation Army’s soup van makes three stops every night between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Contact: 905-527-1444

by Matthew Van Dongen

Matthew Van Dongen covers city hall for the Hamilton Spectator.