An Arctic blast hit Canada this week and needless to say, we're barely handling the ice cold wind and below freezing temperatures that have lasted throughout the week.
TL;DR NASA's Mars rover has confirmed that Canada's winter temperatures are as cold and at some points even colder than the neighbouring planet's weather right now. During nighttime, Mars becomes exceedingly colder than Earth, but daytime weather is considerably warmer than parts of Canada right now. More details below.
With the polar vortex causing temperatures as cold as -30°C (not including wind chill) people have been wondering how cold Canada actually is right now. Are we complaining about the weather too much? Or are we dealing with an extreme winter crisis?
While right now it looks like the latter, because our frigid weather is comparable to that of Mars at the moment.
NASA has a weather monitor on the planet that has been sending back reports every day since 2012. It's easy to see ground temperature, air temperature, UV radiation, and atmospheric pressure on Mars thanks to the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station, which has helped scientists confirm that right now Canada might actually be colder than our neighbouring planet.
Yes, it's true. On January 27, 2019, a maximum air temperature of -7°C was recorded on Mars, as well as a maximum ground temperature of 1°C. Meaning anywhere in Canada colder than that is officially colder than Mars. Temperatures in Winnipeg, for example, plunged to -37°C this afternoon.
The statement happens to only be true during the daytime, though, as at night Mars air temperature drops to -73°C. The coldest Canada saw on the same night was -50°C in Manitoba.
There are also other explanations as to why Canada and Mars are around the same temperature right now, and it has to do with latitude. NASA's rover is currently in Mars' tropics, which has more direct sunlight.
In 1976, NASA landed the Viking 2 on Mars in an area closer to the latitiude of Regina and Winnipeg. The northern hemisphere was one third of the way through summer at the time, with daily temperatures between -30°C and -90°C.
So, yes, Mars has us beat just by a little bit. But at least for the time being we can brag (or complain) that Canada is as cold as the neighbouring planet.