The cold temperature at the Sudbury Airport bottomed out at -35.5 C at 7 a.m., said Geoff Coulson, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. With the wind chill the temperature reached a low of -48 C.
The previous record for Jan. 2, said Coulson, was -33.8 C, before wind chill, set in 1981.
The coldest day in recorded history for Sudbury was on Jan. 10, 1982. That day the mercury dipped to -39.3 C, and reached a low of -53.1 C with the wind chill.
Coulson said all of Canada, east of the Rockies, has experienced colder than seasonal temperatures this week due to cold winds that have swooped in from the North.
Parts of southern Ontario have had it milder thanks to the moderating effect of Georgian Bay.
“For locations like Sudbury, where you've basically got those winds coming down over frozen ground, no modification of the air mass is taking place, and the true coldest temperatures of that air mass are being experienced,” Coulson said.
Timmins, Chapleau and Wawa also experienced record-breaking lows Thursday morning.
Due to the extreme cold, the Sudubury and District Health Unit issued tips to avoid hypothermia and frostbite.
When a person is afflicted with frostbite it means their skin has frozen.
“If frostbite is suspected, immediately treat the area by somehow covering it,” the health unit said in a release. “Never rub or massage the area because it could damage the skin tissue.”
If possible, a person afflicted with frostbite should gently place the affected area in warm water until it is no longer numb. They should apply a sterile dressing to the area, and place dressings between fingers and toes if they are affected.
Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition in which the body's core temperature drops below 35 C, the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions.
It occurs when the body is exposed to the cold for a long time and loses more heat than it can generate.
A person with hypothermia could be shivering, drowsy, confused, and have slurred speech, loss of co-ordination, and pale and bluish lips. When shivering stops, the condition becomes severe and unconsciousness may soon follow.
“Treat hypothermia by moving the person to shelter, replacing wet clothing with dry clothing, and wrapping them in warm blankets,” the Sudbury and District Health Unit said. “Keep the person lying flat and get immediate medical attention.”
For more information on preventing cold weather injuries, call the Health Unit at 705-522-9200, ext. 464, or toll-free at 1-866-522-9200.