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Cold Weather Guidelines

February 8, 2021

Indoor Recess

Students stay indoors for recess when the wind chill reaches -28 degrees Celsius.

Bus cance​​llations

During the school year there may be times when school bus transportation is cancelled due to inclement weather or poor driving conditions, but schools will remain open.

School bus transportation for all school divisions in the City of Winnipeg is cancelled:

  • A. If the actual temperature is -35°C (regardless of windchill) based on the 6:00 a.m. Environment Canada reading at the Forks, Winnipeg or;
  • B. If the wind chill reaches -45°C  (regardless of air temperature) based on the 6:00 a.m. Environment Canada readings at the Forks, Winnipeg. 

The temperature and windchill readings can be found at the Environment Canada website (click here​ for latest readings at The Forks). When bus transportation is cancelled in the morning, it will not resume later in the day even if weather conditions improve.

All major Winnipeg media outlets are contacted in the early morning and are asked that they broadcast and/or post bus cancellation information.


Wind Chill Hazards and What To Do (Source Canada.ca)
Wind ChillExposure RiskHealth
Concerns
What to Do
0 to -9Low Risk
  • Slight increase in discomfort
  • Dress warmly
  • Stay dry
-10 to -27Moderate Risk
  • Uncomfortable
  • Risk of hypothermia and frostbite if outside for long periods without adequate protection.
  • Dress in layers of warm clothing, with an outer layer that is wind-resistant.
  • Wear a hat, mittens or insulated gloves, and insulated, waterproof footwear.
  • Stay dry.
  • Keep active
-28 to -39High Risk: exposed skin can freeze in 10 to 30 minutes
  • High risk of frostnip or frostbite: Check face and extremities for numbness or whiteness.
  • High risk of hypothermia if outside for long periods without adequate clothing or shelter from wind and cold.
  • Dress in layers of warm clothing, with an outer layer that is wind-resistant
  • Cover exposed skin
  • Wear a hat, mittens or insulated gloves,  neck tube or face mask and insulated, waterproof footwear
  • Stay dry
  • Keep active
-40 to -47Very High risk: exposed skin can freeze in 5 to 10 minutes
  • Very high risk of frostbite: Check face and extremities for numbness or whiteness.
  • Very high risk of hypothermia if outside for long periods without adequate clothing or shelter from wind and cold.
  • Dress in layers of warm clothing, with an outer layer that is wind-resistant.
  • Cover all exposed skin.
  • Wear a hat, mittens or insulated gloves, a neck tube or face mask and insulated, waterproof footwear.
  • Stay dry
  • Keep active.
-48 to -54Severe risk: exposed skin can freeze in 2 to 5 minutes
  • Severe risk of frostbite: Check face and extremities frequently for numbness or whiteness.
  • Severe risk of hypothermia if outside for long periods without adequate clothing or shelter from wind and cold.
  • Be careful. Dress very warmly in layers of clothing, with an outer layer that is wind-resistant.
  • Cover all exposed skin
  • Wear a hat, mittens or insulated gloves, a  neck tube or face mask and insulated, waterproof footwear.
  • Be ready to cut short or cancel outdoor activities.
  • Stay dry.
  • Keep active.
-55 and colderExtreme risk: exposed skin can freeze in less than 2 minutes
  • DANGER! Outdoor conditions are hazardous.
  • Stay indoors.

How to Estimate Wind Chill Values

  1. Estimate the wind speed outside by observing the movement of trees and flags, using the guide provided in the table below.
  2. Once you have estimated the wind speed and you know the temperature outside, you can estimate the wind chill by referring to the numerical chart below.
Wind Chill Index 
Wind speed (km/h)Estimating wind speed - what to look forTemperature (°C)
  0- 5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50
10Wind felt on face - wind vane begins
to move
-3- 9-15-21-27-33-39-45-51-57-63
20Small flags extended-5-12-18-24-30-37-43-49-56-62-68
30Wind raises loose paper, large flags
flap and small tree branches move
-6-13-20-26-33-39-45-52-59-65-72
40Small trees begin to sway and large
flags extend and flap strongly
-7-14-21-27-34-41-48-54-61-68-74
50Large branches of trees move,
telephone wires whistle and it is
hard to use an umbrella
-8-15-22-29-35-42-49-56-63-69-76
60Trees bend and walking against the
wind is hard
-9-16-23-30-36-43-50-57-64-71-78

Weather forecasts: Canada.ca/weather

Footnotes

In sustained winds over 50 km/h, frostbite can occur faster than indicated.


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