TORONTO – The City of Toronto cancelled the extreme cold weather alert, Friday. The alert was issued on Monday.
An alert is issued with Environment Canada forecasts an overnight temperature of -15 C or lower, without wind chill.
The cold snap gripped Toronto and the GTA for most of this week.
With the wind chill, it felt as cold as -24 C in some parts of the GTA on Wednesday, making it the coldest day in the region so far this year.
Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips said Torontonians were spoiled by a balmy winter last year.
This year, Phillips said, the early part of winter “was missing in action.”
“Then we had 17, 18 days in a row with a January thaw,” he said.
“I think we were seduced into thinking that winter wasn’t possible anymore.”
We asked 680News listeners to fill in the blank: “It’s so cold that…”
Phillips said predictions for February show warmer than average temperatures but warned not to rule out a cold snap.
An extreme cold weather alert remains in effect for the City of Toronto for the third consecutive day.
But temperatures are forecast to increase as the weekend approaches.
An extreme cold weather alert is called to trigger additional homelessness services. Alerts are typically called in the morning for the coming overnight period so that community agencies have sufficient time to call in extra staff to provide enhanced services.
Among other reasons, extreme cold weather alerts are issued when Environment Canada predicts a coming overnight temperature of -15 C or lower without the wind chill.
On Tuesday, Toronto dealt with more than just the cold weather. Drivers and pedestrians were also faced with lake-effect snow.
As of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the CAA had already received 2,000 calls, the majority for dead car batteries.
“Typically on a winter day, on an average day, we get about 2,500 calls. On a day where we get a snowstorm or extreme cold temperatures, that number usually doubles, so we usually see about 5,000 or more calls,” the agency’s Silvana Aceto said, adding that drivers need to be extra vigilant in cold, snowy weather.
“Since we are in the midst of winter, that we can see extreme temperature swings as well as snow bands and poor visibility, so drivers really need to slow down in that snow. I can’t stress that enough.”