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Winter in Canada: -40 degrees and a snowstorm in Edmonton

winter in canada
At -40 degrees, I went outside just to experience this kind of temperature. Ice crystals formed on my eyebrows and lashes.

Winter in Canada and visit my brother were two main reasons I traveled November last year. I haven’t experienced snow but only saw it once covering the peaks of mountains somewhere as I was in transit to Paris from Abu Dhabi. And as December rolled in with temperatures that were rather mild, people here lamented of having a brown Christmas. But then, January happened and temperatures drastically dropped thus my stay here just got very interesting.

As I stepped out of the warmth of the apartment, I was greeted by a sight I had only seen in movies or dreamed about: a wintry wonderland, with every surface adorned in a blanket of pristine white snow. Coming from the Philippines, where the only weather extremes were the scorching heat and occasional tropical storms, experiencing the cold embrace of a Canadian winter was nothing short of mesmerizing.

A biting winter in Canada

January 12: My first encounter with the bitter cold of Edmonton, Alberta, was on this day when the temperature plummeted to a bone-chilling -40 degrees Celsius. Stepping outside felt like entering a freezer, and the frigid air seemed to pierce through every layer of clothing I had on. As I walked down the street, my breath formed tiny clouds in front of me, a stark reminder of just how different this environment was from what I was used to.

Despite the biting cold, there was an undeniable beauty to the scene around me. The snow-covered trees glistened in the sunlight, casting a magical glow over the landscape. Every step I took I could hear the crunch of snow beneath my feet. I couldn’t help but marvel at this experience. Negative 40 degrees and I was outside. Tiny ice crystals formed on my brows and lashes. Despite this temperature, I was able to walk almost five kilometers around the block and taking photos of such a wonderful snowy landscape. But alas, I had to go back home because of the cold.

winter in canada
A beautiful sight of bare trees in a wintry landscape
winter in canada
It’s all white!
Snow, snow, everywhere
Car covered with snow

A mild snow storm

February 25: But my fascination with winter didn’t end there. Just when I thought I had experienced it all, Mother Nature decided to put on an even more spectacular show: a mild snowstorm. As the flakes began to fall from the sky, at first in a slow stream then going heavy, I just felt the urge to go outside and experience it.

Visibility dropped as snow intensified, blurring the world. The wind howled loudly. Despite heavy snow, excitement washed over me. It felt extraordinary.

winter in canada
As a mild snowstorm enveloped Edmonton, I went out again just for the experience
Snow covered 124th Street, the main road
Traces of snow falling against this darker wall
winter in canada
Mild snowstorm in the city
winter in canada
Blanket off snow with foot tracks

As I write this in March, the temperature has already climbed into the positives. The snowy landscape is starting to abate, revealing portions of the ground slowly. I can’t help but feel a sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of winter in Canada. Amid the cold, winter’s embrace reveals a quiet beauty.