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Toronto facing first Extreme Cold Weather alert of the year

Hailey Montgomery
Digital Reporter

Thursday, November 9, 2017, 5:51 PM - Toronto Public Health (TPH) issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert for the first time this year, in anticipation of a drastic temperature drop that will feel like -18  with the windchill. 

Record breaking cold is forecast in southern Ontario through Saturday, as arctic air moves into the province. Average daily highs for the GTA in November typically sit around 8oC, with lows at 2oC. Current forecasts predict temperatures will feel like -16 by Friday morning - temperatures more typical of December or January.

TPH reminds locals that exposure to extremely cold temperature can cause hypothermia and frostbite, both which can result in serious bodily harm. 

Environment Canada issued Winter Weather Travel advisories throughout the GTA on Thursday evening, effective until further notice. When the temperature drops below 0oC, packed, melted slush can freeze, creating a layer of ice on untreated roads. 

As well as record breaking cold, snow squalls are expected throughout the province into Friday evening as bands of rain mix with frigid air as temperatures drop. Mixing with high winds, expected to gust up to 60 km/h in the region, whiteout conditions can occur, limiting visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

Homeless or under-housed individuals face harsh outdoor conditions, often without the relief of shelter. Torontonians are encouraged to call 311 if they recognize a vulnerable individual that needs assistance. Services such as additional shelter beds and free transit tokens become available in an extreme cold weather situation. 

Some recommendations from Toronto Public Health include:

  • Check the weather report before going outside
  • Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much greater if you are wet 
  • Dress in layers, making sure your outerlayer is windproof, and cover exposed skin
  • Drink warm fluids, other than alcohol 
  • Call or visit vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties relating to the weather

Watch below: Multi-vehicle crash caught on snowy highway, reminder to drive for conditions

Source: City of Toronto

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