Period of intense cold

Last updated May 19, 2024

Montréal can have periods of intense cold. What are the risks to your health and safety? Find out what you need to know.

What’s a period of intense cold?

In the winter, Intense cold is when temperatures fall significantly below the seasonal norm. Cold can also be made worse by the wind (wind chill). Typically, there are greater risks to your health when the wind chill makes the temperature feel like it’s -27 °C.

Health and safety risks

For you

  • Windburn (dry, red, sore skin)
  • Frostbite: in 5 to 10 minutes if skin is exposed at a temperature of -30 ºC to  -35 ºC and there is also wind
  • Irritation of throat and lungs
  • Hypothermia

For your home and car

  • Frozen pipes
  • Power failure
  • Car won’t start
  • Fire, or carbon monoxide poisoning (improper use of back-up heating: portable heaters, space heaters)

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