An extreme cold warning has been issued for most of Alberta and first responders are reminding people to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from frost bite and hypothermia.

Environment Canada says an arctic air mass is creating wind chills between -40 and -50 in the northern parts of the province and wind chills in the -30 to -40 range in the south.

Extreme cold warnings are issued when cold temperatures or wind chills elevate the risk of frost bite and hypothermia.

The cold weather has prompted some school closures and bus service disruptions:

First responders say frostbite and hypothermia can set in within minutes on exposed skin and that people should dress warmly, in layers and limit their time outdoors.

“Everybody should be taking those proper precautions, to layering up, covering up as much skin as possible and seeking warm areas just to help your body reenergize and staying hydrated with water specifically, your body does use a significant amount of energy to regulate its temperature,” said Adam Loria, Public Education Officer, Calgary EMS.

Symptoms of cold related illness include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Numbness and colour change in fingers and toes

The AMA is reminding motorists to plug in vehicles that are outside and says service time for things like towing and boosts have extended past 12 hours.

The extremely cold weather is expected to stick around for through Tuesday and it will remain cold for the rest of the week.

WEATHER AND ROAD RESOURCES

For updated information regarding weather warnings and watches, visit Environment Canada – Public Weather Alerts.

Click HERE for cold weather safety tips for pets from the Calgary Humane Society

For the latest on road conditions in Calgary, follow  YYC Transportation on twitter or check the CTV Calgary Traffic Page HERE.

For updates on highway conditions, follow 511 Alberta on twitter, visit AMA Roads Reports and the DriveBC sites.

Download the CTV Calgary Sky Watch Weather App for real-time weather forecasts and video updates on conditions HERE.

For more information on the city’s snow removal process, click HERE.