Airports warn of flight delays as record-breaking cold continues
Monday, February 16, 2015, 4:23 PM - It might not be at Prairie levels, but it's pretty close this morning in southern Ontario.
It is another astonishingly cold morning in a province not typically used to it, with several low temperature records being notched in several communities.
Extreme cold warnings were in effect in the morning hours, dropping a little before 11 a.m., and the city of Toronto has once again extended its extreme cold weather alert.
"The silver lining is there's less wind chill to contend with this morning," Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton said early Monday morning.
Even in communities that didn't break records, core temperatures were still below -20oC, feeling into the -30s with the wind chill, which is a dangerous level of cold.
It's so cold that Toronto's Pearson Airport was warning passengers to expect delays or cancellations, with some listed on the airport's website.
Not as frigid Tues/Wed but back to deep freeze for GTA Thur/Fri; Potential to finish Feb. without going above 0C for only 2nd time on record— Doug Gillham (@gtaweather1) February 16, 2015
The cold has claimed at least one life so far: One man in his late 20s was found with no vital signs beside his wheelchair in an Etobicoke driveway early Sunday morning. He was rushed to hospital, and was later pronounced dead.
That morning, Pearson Airport made it as low as -25oC, feeling like -40 with the wind chill, its coldest morning in 20 years.
At least two water main breaks were reported by Toronto Police sunday, forcing transit and traffic reroutes as crews worked to contain the breaks.
The Toronto Island ferry was temporarily trapped on its way to the island, until it was freed around 9 a.m. Sunday.
On Monday, 16 new low temperature records were recorded, shattering previous numbers by several degrees. Here's a look at some impressive new records set in southern Ontario.
|LOCATION||NEW RECORD (Celsius)||PREVIOUS RECORD (Celsius) AND YEAR||RECORDS BEGAN|
|WATERLOO Airport||-34.1||-23.0, 1979/1987||1970|
|TORONTO PEARSON||-24.4||-23.9, 1939||1938|
|TORONTO ISLAND||-22.4||-21.7, 1979||1905|
Don't expect much in the way of relief for the rest of the week.
"Bitter high pressure continues to dominate, but with a chance of flurries Tuesday night and Wednesday as a weak trough swings through," Hamilton says. "Again gets VERY cold late week, as a reload of Arctic air occurs.
Environment Canada issues extreme cold warnings when the cold reaches such a level as to increase the risk of frostbite or hypothermia. The agency says the following groups are most at risk:
- Homeless people
- Outdoor workers
- People living in homes that are poorly insulated (with no heat or no power)
- People with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and diseases affecting the blood vessels, people taking certain medications including beta-blockers
- Winter sport enthusiasts
- People who consume excess alcohol
- Infants and
The agency also says people who have to be exposed to those conditions need to dress for it, with the following tips:
- Synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation. Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk.
- Dress in layers with a wind resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm (before you start sweating) or add a layer if you get cold.
- Wear warm socks, gloves, a hat and scarf in cold weather. Be sure to cover your nose to protect it.
- If you get wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. You lose heat faster when you're wet.
WATCH: Seven experiments you can ONLY do when it's this cold: