Take the cold weather quiz

by Ruth Griffiths

When the weather turns extreme it’s almost all we talk about. But how much do we know about the weather? Challenge yourself to answer these cold weather questions.

  1. How cold can it get in Prince Albert?
  2. On average, when is Prince Albert’s coldest day of the year?
  3. On what day did Prince Albert record its largest daily snowfall?
  4. On Aug. 20, 2010, the temperature in Antarctica dropped to the lowest recorded temperature in the world. How cold was it?
  5. According to Statistics Canada, the coldest recorded temperature in Canada was on Feb. 3, 1947 in Snag, Yukon. How cold was it?
  6. David Phillips, Senior climatologist at Environment Canada, says Canada is the second coldest country in the world, with an average year round temperature of -3.6 C. What country is colder?
  7. The average nighttime low in Canada for December, January and February is -26.7 C. What area of Canada is the coldest?
  8. What is the coldest inhabited place on earth?
  9. How cold was the last Ice Age?
  10. How cold can it get?

I put this quiz together seven years ago and updated it this month. It appears that we never grow tired of talking about the weather. Unless we’re talking about the pandemic!

** ed note: In a serendipitous turn of events, I’m editing this column on Monday, January 25. It was -40 C when I went outside to start my car this morning — a cold weather column on the coldest day of the year so far. It’ s not the coldest Jan. 25 on record, though, that mark belongs to 1969, when it reached -43.9 C. The average low for this late January deep freeze is -25 C. According to Environment Canada, the mercury plunged to -40.4 C, and -42 with the windchill. The ice fog didn’t help matters either!


  1. One source says -50 C on Jan. 20, 1943 while Wikipedia says -56.7 C on Feb. 1, 1893. (Highest temp June 5, 1988 38.8 C )
  2. Jan. 10, with an average low of -23 C and high of -12 C.
  3. Sunday, Oct. 11, 1998 saw 43 cm of snowfall. It was the Thanksgiving weekend.
  4. -93.2 C, brrrr
  5. -63 C is still the coldest temperature recorded in North America.
  6. Russia has the honour of first place at -5.3 C.
  7. Nunavut is the coldest territory in the winter, with an average daily temperature of -33.4 C, while Manitoba is the coldest winter province at -25.1 C. Nova Scotia is the warmest province, with a balmy average of -8.9 C.
  8. Oymyakon in northeast Russia recorded -67.7 C on Feb. 6, 1933. This is the lowest temperature ever recorded in the northern hemisphere, and is the lowest temperature ever recorded for any permanent habitation (on Earth).
  9. The average global temperature was 6 or 7 degrees colder than today’s average global temperature of 14 C.
  10. The moon gets to -228 C. Mars is -153 C at the poles. The International Space Station’s sun-facing side heats to 121 C, while the dark side plunges to -157 C. Deep space is -270 C. Absolute zero, theoretically the coldest temperature possible, is -273.15 C.