Atlantic Canada braces for storm, while Quebec urged to conserve power

The aftermath of the storm in Quebec City, Dec. 22, 2013. (Benoit Geriepy/QMI Agency)

The aftermath of the storm in Quebec City, Dec. 22, 2013. (Benoit Geriepy/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:06 PM ET

There's cold, then there's colder-than-Mars cold.

Much of Eastern Canada woke up Thursday to temperatures colder than the Red Planet, so frigid that Hydro Quebec asked people to reduce power consumption to prevent blackouts.

Residents in Rouyn-Noranda, Que., 500 km northwest of Ottawa, woke up to a record -43 C Thursday. Compare that to -29 C, the high reached on Mars according to the latest info from NASA's Curiosity Rover.

A storm moving through the northeastern U.S. Thursday threatened temperatures of -19 C in Boston and up to 20 cm of snow in New York City. The same system resulted in blizzard warnings in Nova Scotia, and wind-chill warnings in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland Hydro also warned customers to expect rolling blackouts because of the deep freeze.

Temperatures were expected to stay at -20 C or below for much of Eastern Canada until the weekend.

The City of Toronto is among several Ontario municipalities still cleaning up after the Dec. 21 ice storm. The city estimates cleanup will cost $25 million, and another $50 million for further tree repairs.

Up to 20 cm of snow was forecast for southern Ontario's Niagara region on Thursday.

Cold weather persisted in the Prairies and temperatures are expected to dip further, with Regina and Winnipeg expected to see -29 C on Sunday.

It wasn't all cold in the Great White North, though — both Calgary and Vancouver had above-zero temperatures Thursday.


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