A cold snap will settle in this week. Make that a relative cold snap

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Ottawa was still digging out from an accumulated 19 cm of snow that blanketed the region as winter delivered  another January treat: A cold snap that will last all week.

Make that a relative cold snap. It will be colder this week than any other stretch so far this year, but about average for this time of year.

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Ottawa typically experiences average daily lows of -14 C and highs of -5 C in January. This week, temperatures are expected to drop to at least -14 C for five nights in a row, with Friday night predicted to be the coldest of the bunch at -19 C, Environment Canada predicts. Daytime highs this week will range between -8 and -12 C.

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The cold weather is expected to last into next weekend.

That could be heartening news for fans of skating on the Rideau Canal, where teams are at work preparing the ice. The skateway will open when a 30 cm thickness of good quality ice has formed, according to the NCC.

“To get there, our ice experts need about 10 to 14 consecutive days of temperatures between -10°C and -20°C.” 

So far this month, there have only been five days with overnight lows of -10 C or colder. The only consecutive cold nights lasted from Jan. 4 to 7.

There’s a chance of snow on Tuesday and a chance of snow flurries Wednesday and Thursday, said Environment Canada.Ashley Fraser/Postmedia Photo by Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

Flurries, local blowing snows and winds gusting up to 60 km an hour from the southwest made cleaning up piles of snow a chilly business on Sunday. No snow is predicted for Monday, but there’s a chance of snow on Tuesday and a chance of flurries on Wednesday and Thursday, said Environment Canada.

Paramedics are warning those who plan to tackle snow to be careful after two Renfrew County people were reported dead after suffering from cardiac arrests while clearing snow.

The County of Renfrew Paramedic Service has issued a list of common mistakes to avoid while shovelling snow. These include turning only your upper body when putting snow down; bending over with your knees straight while lifting a full shovel; taking big shovelfuls that are too difficult to push or lift; using a shovel that is too big or too heavy; hurrying to finish quickly and waiting for the storm to end before shovelling to avoid having to start over.

It’s also a good idea to warm up before shovelling, said the paramedic service.

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