This week we'll go down to -12c in the city. This is about as cold as it got generally in Toronto for the last 20 years. In 1983 I remember that in our new, very old house, it was always -20 or 30, and the pipes in the crawlspace froze. I had to do a lot to them. I ended up with insulation and letting the taps drip for most of the winter.
In 1973 I was regularly winter camping up in Huntsville at -40c. That was the normal winter temperature. Right now the Arctic is socked in with cold, and we expect a very good ice report next month. The warm Atlantic air plumes have stopped, and it's snowing in the UK. All in November.
As with the Blind Men, the sine wave is just cresting and going over the top. My great amusement will be how the carbonistas cope with this. It's going to be difficult to keep the PR machine going, and I suspect they will just hunker down for the winter and wait until July. :)
But the real reason for this article is to get the people in very old houses to check their pipes. The insulation may have come off, or the heat tracing cable isn't working. Don't wait for a disaster.