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Extreme cold and snow squall warnings for Waterloo region and surrounding areas

A skater's breath trails behind him as he skates on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 as an extreme cold warning is in affect, with morning temperatures at -28C, feeling like -38C with the wind chill. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang) A skater's breath trails behind him as he skates on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 as an extreme cold warning is in affect, with morning temperatures at -28C, feeling like -38C with the wind chill. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang)
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A blast of cold Arctic air is expected to reach southern Ontario Thursday night paired with possible heavy blowing snow, according to Environment Canada.

The agency warns of wind chill values in the minus 30s overnight Thursday and into Friday morning in the Region of Waterloo, Guelph, Erin, Wellington County, Mount Forest, and Arthur.

“After moderating during the day Friday, wind chills may reach minus 30 again Friday night into early Saturday morning,” the alert read.

Environment Canada said risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter.

Officials are advising people to cover up as frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill.

A snow squall watch is also in effect for the same areas.

On Thursday just before 5 p.m., Environment Canada upgraded its snow squall watch to a snow squall warning for Waterloo region, Guelph, Erin and Southern Wellington County.

Periods of brief but intense snowfall are expected with visibility rapidly reduced due to heavy and blowing snow.

Officials believe it will start early Thursday evening with whiteout conditions expected. Westerly winds gusting to 60 km/h could produce near zero visibility at times.

“Bitterly cold air will follow in the wake of the front, with very cold wind chill values expected tonight into Friday morning,” Environment Canada said.

The agency is asking drivers to prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions, to watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop. 

As of Friday morning at 5 a.m., the snow squall warning for Waterloo region, Guelph, Erin and Southern Wellington County had lifted, with only the extreme cold warning still in effect.

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