Tonight’s Environment Canada forecast is predicting that, with the windchill, Toronto will feel as cold as -18°C, which has prompted Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, to issue an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today.
Extreme Cold Weather Alerts activate local services that focus on getting and keeping vulnerable residents inside. They are usually issued when the forecast suggests temperatures will reach approximately -15°C or colder, or when the wind chill is forecast to reach -20°C or colder.
It is currently -7°C in Toronto with a mix of sun and cloud. The windchill is making it feel more like -12°C.
During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, the City recommends members of the public take the following precautions:
- Check the weather report before going outside.
- Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover exposed skin.
- Wear a hat, warm mittens or gloves, and warm boots.
- Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much greater if you are wet.
- Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for your clothes instead of cotton, because cotton absorbs and holds moisture, no longer keeping the wearer warm.
- Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
- Drink warm fluids other than alcohol.
- Warm up by taking regular breaks in heated buildings when enjoying winter activities outside.
- Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors, during colder temperatures, especially if it’s windy.
- Heat your home to at least 21 degrees Celsius if infants or elderly people are present.
- Call or visit vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to the weather.
If you see any vulnerable people today, please calling 311 if there is a need for street outreach assistance. Call 911 if the situation is an emergency.