I feel that those who have never lived in Winnipeg need a description of cold. I'm a transplant here, and so, I'm one of the best to spread the word. The reason for that is that Winnipeggers have grown up with the cold of Southern Manitoba and outsiders call this place Winterpeg, but have never experienced the true meaning of that word.
I also have some new perspective on the winter wind as I'm now seeing another transplant in slow evolution. Watching another person go from squealing at the biting nip of the North wind to laughing in the face of Ole Man Winter brings me back to 2 years ago.
One of the first memories I have of cold is in the Jetway at the airport here, when I came in for an interview for residency. Walking out the door of the plane visitors are hit by a guillotine of cold. Worse yet, when I left it was on a small plane. In that case one has to walk across the tarmac and get on the plane...a cold goodbye. Adding insult to injury, the plane door stays open and only a gaping curtain covers the door to keep the cold out. Not a great way to leave warm-hearted memories of a great town!
Ice Crystals -- Sounds like a type of diamond or some mythical castle. In reality it is a meteorological term. I think, after 3 winters here it means snow without clouds. Although I haven't had a scientific explanation of the phenomenon, I think that it basically means 'so cold the air is freezing'. I Never heard of that in Ontario?
Finally, until you have filled up your gas tank in frigid temperatures you don't understand cold! When the car is turned off you feel the slow creep of the cold first on your ankles, slowly climbing up your legs. As the gas tank needle edges towards full it seems like it is not indicating the level of the fuel, but rather the temperature inside the car or the height of your goose bumps. The only thing that's worse is self service! Get out your gloves!
That being said, I love the winter here. The scrunch of snow is something I miss when it's not there. I love skating up the river and shooting around the puck on a frozen rink. It's another experience as far as I'm concerned.