With more than a month to go before winter even officially begins, the City of Toronto just issued its second extreme cold weather alert of the 2019-2020 cold season.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, triggered the advisory around 8 a.m. on Friday morning based on information from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
While most people are waking up to a tolerable zero degrees, temperatures are expected to plummet throughout the day, reaching -12 C by Friday evening, not including the wind chill.
Wind chill values are expected to make it feel like – 17 C overnight, with a 70 per cent chance of flurries lingering all day long.
Extreme cold weather alerts are only issued in Toronto when Environment Canada forecasts temperatures of -15 degrees C or colder, or wind chill values of – 20 C or colder.
They may also be issued, however, “when the forecast includes factors that increase the impact of cold weather on health,” such as precipitation or several days and nights of frigid conditions in a row.
Today’s windy, snowy outlook fits the bill enough for de Villa to trigger an alert, which activates warming centres and other measures to keep vulnerable residents inside and safe.
The warming centre at Metro Hall in downtown Toronto will open by 7 p.m. this evening and stay open throughout the alert, which remains in effect until further notice.