Extreme cold weather alert in effect as Toronto prepares for significant snowfall

The City of Toronto’s extreme cold weather alert remains in effect as the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) prepares for significant snowfall to begin Sunday night.

Early Saturday, Environment Canada said in a statement that the region was seeing wind chill values ​​near -30.

Initially, the weather agency also issued an extreme cold weather alert but that has since ended. However, the city’s alert remains in effect.

“The Medical Officer of Health will issue an Extreme Cold Weather Alert when Environment Canada forecasts a temperature of -15° C or colder, or a wind chill of -20° C or colder, for the city of Toronto,” the city said on its website.

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Chilly conditions are expected to continue throughout the day and into the evening, but Environment Canada assured that wind chills will not fall as low as -30 Saturday night.

The weather agency advised residents to dress warmly if they need to be outdoors and to look out for any cold-related symptoms.

“Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill,” the statement read.

“Watch for cold-related symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and color change in fingers and toes.”

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Toronto mayor John Tory reminded residents through a tweet that the city has opened four warming centres.

The centers are located at 129 Peter St., 5800 Yonge St., the Better Living Center at 195 Princes’ Blvd., and 1684 Queen St. E.

The city also opened two additional 24-hour emergency shelter spaces on Friday in response to the cold weather. Warden Hilltop Community Center and Masaryk-Cowan Community Center are available for residents in need of shelter space.

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A special weather statement has also been issued for the GTHA as significant snowfall is expected to move into the region Sunday night.

“The snow will fall heavily at times with snowfall rates of a few centimeters per hour possible. Travel will likely be difficult due to the expected heavy snow.”

The GTHA could see between 10 to 20 cm of snow, the statement read.

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The weather agency added that wind tastes can climb up to 50 km/h which will contribute to poor visibility.

“Conditions are forecast to improve by Monday evening as the snow comes to an end.”

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