With another freezing forecast ahead of us, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert for the city, as temperatures are expected to feel like -25ºC this evening with the windchill. Dr. Eileen de Villa says the alert will be in effect until further notice.
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According to the city, Extreme Cold Weather Alerts are issued when the daily forecast suggests temperatures will reach approximately -15ºC or colder, or when the windchill is forecast to reach -20ºC.
Environment Canada says this morning’s snowfall will end later this afternoon and temperatures will hover near -5ºC, which will feel more like -14ºC with the windchill. However, by this evening, temperatures are forecast to drop to -17ºC or -13ºC with the windchill, turning into -25ºC overnight.
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.