Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - Hold on a little longer...the arctic air mass over Manitoba will start to retreat Thursday.
Environment Canada still has an "Extreme Cold Warning" in effect for the vast majority of the province. Windchills will continue to exceed -40 tonight, but temperatures will rise overnight to -32, and continue upwards to -20 by mid-day Thursday.
This morning's unofficial low of -42 in Brandon has likely set a record for this date. The previous record was -38.5 in 2004.
While we wait for the arctic air mass to move on, certain things tend to break down at low temperatures.
Manitoba Hydro crews across the province have been responding to a series of equipment failure outages.
Power outages were reported in Dauphin, Erickson, Minnedosa, Rossburn, and The Pas.
The cold has also been affecting households. Calls to fix failed heating systems and frozen drain lines have doubled over normal for Westside Plumbing and Heating.
Meanwhile, CAA Manitoba is so overwhelmed with calls that they are unable to respond to calls to people securely at home or at their office. The service says they are responding only to people in danger on the roadways.
As a result, the cab companies are doing a brisk trade. A quick call to 4-Way Taxi in Brandon indicates they've put the full fleet on the road, with wait times at roughly half an hour during peak periods.
The good news is, we will be back to "normal" temperatures by Friday. Normal lows this time of year are -10, normal lows -21.