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Freezing, snowy weekend in store for much of southern Quebec

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2019-01-19 CBC/Radio-Canada
a cat wearing a collared shirt: Make sure to cover exposed skin in this weather. © Nathan Denette/Canadian Press Make sure to cover exposed skin in this weather.

No matter where you are in southern Quebec this weekend, you will be dealing with some bona fide winter weather.

Environment Canada has issued weather advisories for just about everywhere, warning of extreme cold, an impending storm, or both.

Much of the province is under an extreme cold warning — the windchill is expected to make it feel like –40 in the Laurentians, western and central Quebec. As you head north, it will feel like –50.

The weather agency is warning everyone in those areas to cover up, because in those temperatures, frostbite can take hold of exposed skin in minutes.

Farther south, the issue is the cold and snow.

The Laurentians, Montreal area and Montérégie are expected to get up to 20 centimetres of snow through Sunday, but that number increases to 40 centimetres in areas such as the Eastern Townships and Beauce.

And while it won't get chilly enough to prompt an extreme cold warning, it won't exactly be balmy, either.

With the windchill, it will feel like –30. What's worse, those strong winds will be creating blowing snow conditions, making driving particularly hazardous.

The snow will taper off Sunday, but cold temperatures are in the forecast until Tuesday.

A few tips to deal with the cold

While Urgences-santé only covers the Montreal and Laval areas, the emergency paramedical service issued a few tips that are applicable to everyone:

  • Dress warmly and cover all body parts that are exposed to cold and wind.
  • Don't go out alone in isolated areas.
  • If you're outdoors, find shelter and keep moving.
  • If you lose feeling in part of your body, if you feel a tingling sensation, or if your skin turns red or white, you have frostbite. Get out of the cold and call 811 immediately, or go to a clinic.
  • Make sure your heating system, carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector are in good condition.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness. If you think you have been poisoned, go outside immediately and call 911. Don't go back inside without authorization.
a blurry image of a man: Radio-Canada © Radio-Canada Radio-Canada

Preparing for a voyage

If you have to be on the road in the inclement weather, Michèle Mercier, prevention and security director at the Canadian Red Cross, says to make sure your gas tank is at least half full.

Also, there are some items that should be along for the ride, including:

  • Extra clothes, boots, a jacket and mittens.
  • A First Aid kit. 
  • A flashlight, blankets a shovel, kitty litter, gravel or other traction aids.
  • Booster cables, windshield washer fluid, a snow brush.
  • A fully charged cellphone, some water and snacks.
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