Extreme cold weather alert issued for Toronto

Published On January 17, 2020 | By kevaughnwilson | News
Environment Canada’s warning preparedness Meteorologist Gerald Chang told Humber News on Friday that everyone needs to be aware of the weekend weather. (Pirasanth Gunasekaram)
Kevaughn Wilson and Pirasanth Gunasekaram

The City of Toronto issued an extreme cold weather warning on Friday and the city is bracing for possible heavy snowfall this weekend.

The city’s Medical Officer of Health issued the Extreme Cold Weather Alert for Toronto as temperatures lower than -15 C is expected Friday night and into Saturday morning.

An approaching low pressure system is bringing cold temperatures and snowfall to Southwestern Ontario, beginning overnight.

Environment Canada’s warning preparedness Meteorologist Gerald Chang told Humber News on Friday that everyone needs to be aware of the weekend weather.

“Right now, we are seeing a system that’s coming to sweep across Ontario,” Chang said. “And for the Toronto area specifically for Saturday, we are expecting 10-15 centimetres of snow.”

Some parts of the GTA may transition over to periods of rain late Saturday.

The City of Toronto is advising people to take the following precautionary measures:

  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Reschedule or limit outdoor activities during Extreme Cold Weather Alerts or other wintry conditions.
  • Ensure availability of warm drinks.
  • Ensure children are dressed warmly, covering exposed skin.
  • Schedule warm-up breaks for outdoor workers.
  • Train staff to recognize and treat symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia.

Chang advises people to travel Friday instead of travelling Saturday.

“If you have traveling to do if you need to run errands that do so today on Friday because today is actually a much better day,” Chang said. “There’s plenty of sunshine, it’s fair weather and so driving conditions are ideal today.”

As for Saturday, Chang does recommend traveling or going outside.

“When we look at Saturday with the snow that will be coming down, it will be quite hard to see on the road so it will be very difficult for people to drive,” Chang said.

Chang does not expect the weather continue on Sunday.

The city has 16 shelters set up for the incoming weather.

Dixon Hall has opened their out of the cold programs which provides overnight sleeping spaces as well as meals that are delivered by faith-based groups across the city of Toronto for the homeless.

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