Much of Newfoundland and Labrador is forecast to see a wind chill near –30 from Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon. (Dax Melmer/CBC)
Extreme cold is expected across Newfoundland and Labrador from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon, with the wind chill forecast to drop to nearly -30 and frostbite risks issued by Environment Canada.
Temperatures in the St. John's area and across the Avalon Peninsula are forecast to drop to around –16 C Tuesday evening, paired with winds gusting between 40 and 70 km/h. The wind chill is forecast to make the temperature feel as low as –29 C at times from Tuesday and into Wednesday, and –17 C on Wednesday afternoon.
Areas of central and western Newfoundland will also see wind chill near –30 through Wednesday, while an extreme cold warning is in place for the Northern Peninsula. The cold temperatures can trigger frostbite within minutes, warned Environment Canada on Tuesday, putting people and pets outdoors at risk.
Kim Grant, associate executive director of the Gathering Place in St. John's, said that kind of cold can be especially dangerous for people seeking shelter.
"We're seeing more people migrating indoors during the day because the weather is colder. Our shelter has been at capacity for many months now, so we certainly expect to be full tonight," said Grant on Tuesday. "It's not just people who are unsheltered. It may also be people who are housed, but because of the cost of living and trying to keep their cost down, they may be in a cold house. So they might come here just to warm up."
Warming centres will be available at the Gathering Place and the Safe Haven shelter at 10 Clare Ave. in St. John's. The Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation's emergency shelter is also available for assistance with temporary accommodations at 1-833-724-2444.
Grant said staff are working with other community partners to make sure everyone has a place to stay and warm up.