Snow slows commute in southern Ontario, frigid temperatures here to stay this week
Monday, January 20, 2014, 8:52 AM -
A sharp cold front sweeping south is expected to bring a general 2 to 5 cm of snowfall to parts of southern Ontario Monday, with locally higher amounts possible.
"Snow may be occasionally heavy at times and visibilities may be reduced to 500 metres in snow and blowing snow," warned Environment Canada in the special weather statement Monday morning.
There were reports of dangerous driving conditions in some places early Monday and officials warned to leave plenty of extra time for the commute.
Winter driving conditions right across the GTA, snow covered roads and slippery! #btt— Beat the Traffic (@BTT_GTA) January 20, 2014
"This same front brought treacherous conditions at times through many parts of southern Ontario Sunday, with lake enhancement developing off the lakes," says Weather Network meteorologist Monica Vaswani. "Today overall will be much more calm given the front has moved off east, however lake effect squalls will develop with northerly winds off Lakes Huron and Georgian Bay bringing the threat of over 10 cm of snow for some areas."
Meanwhile, plunging temperatures behind the cold front will affect the region for much of this week.
"The cold air continues to infiltrate Quebec and southern Ontario such that tomorrow morning's lows will likely be the coldest since the last significant cold snap," Vaswani adds. "Squalls will likely continue through tomorrow as well."
Wind chills ranging between -25 to -35 are forecast on Tuesday morning.
That prompted the City of Toronto to issue an extreme cold weather alert to "make vulnerable homeless people in Toronto aware of the dangers of staying outside too long in cold weather and to ensure they have safe and warm places to go."
The alerts are issued when Environment Canada predicts a coming overnight temperature of -15°C or lower, without wind chill. It can also be issued when extreme weather conditions such as a blizzard, ice storm or sudden drop in temperature is forecast.
During an extreme cold weather alert, the city immediately adds 26 shelter spaces for men and women to the shelter spaces available to staff looking to refer a client to a shelter bed.
Public health officials in Ottawa have also issued a frostbite advisory.
Parents are being urged to ensure children are dressed with warm layers and their skin is covered.