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Toronto's winter weather whining justified: Environment Canada

The rest of the country tends to make fun of Toronto when it comes to our winter weather, but Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips told 680News the jokes are not justified this time.

Toronto woke up to its coldest morning in nine years Friday, with temperatures hovering around -23 C.

“It’s colder in Toronto this morning than places, these proverbial cold poles of Iqaluit, White Horse, Fort McMurray, and, my gosh, Winnipeg. ‘Winterpeg, Manisnowba’ is actually warmer by about seven degrees than Toronto,” Phillips said.

And although winter is only three weeks old, Phillips said Toronto has seen it all, from ice storms to extreme cold weather alerts.

“Come on, mother nature. Leave us alone. And then we’ve even got something else. We’ve got these frost quakes.”

Loud booms from frost quakes heard across the GTA Thursday night prompted more than 100 calls to Peel police from people claiming they heard what sounded like gunshots outside their home. Some even reported they felt the ground move.

CityNews meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai said a frost quake is caused when rain and ice seep down into the soil and then freezes when temperatures drop.

Also known as cryoseisms, frost quakes do happen frequently after ice storms but have been rare in the GTA.

Phillips said that some relief could be on the way, with a high of 0 C forecast for Sunday.

“You can almost be sure, that like death and taxes, there’s a January thaw that comes into Toronto,” said Phillips.

But with those warmer temperatures a storm system is coming up from Texas, possibly bringing with it 15 to 20 centimetres of snow on Sunday.