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City of Toronto issues extreme cold weather alert

This winter has seemed like a mild one, but we've already matched last season's total for extreme cold weather alerts.

The city of Toronto has called an extreme cold alert until further notice. Environment Canada is predicting wind chill temperatures of -19C Thursday morning.

Torstar News Service

The city of Toronto has called an extreme cold alert until further notice. Environment Canada is predicting wind chill temperatures of -19C Thursday morning.

It’s been a fairly mild winter in Toronto, but this week’s temperatures are taking a steep dip.

Environment Canada is predicting the temperature will drop to -12C with the wind chill Wednesday night, giving way to an even colder Thursday morning that will greet us with a bitter wind chill temperature of -19C.

That forecast has prompted the Toronto’s medical officerof health to issue an extreme cold weather alert, which automatically increases services and shelter spaces for the city’s homeless and other vulnerable populations.

An extreme cold alert is called whenever the temperature is expected to hit -15C or below. During an extreme cold alert, residents are urged to dress in layers of wool and synthetic fibres and to check on the well-being of elderly or otherwise vulnerable loved ones.

This winter season has seen 11 extreme cold weather alerts, five of which were clustered in a six-day span in December. The most recent alert was issued on Feb. 3.

At this point last winter, there had only been four extreme cold alerts issued. However, February 2016 quickly became much colder, with a total of six extreme cold alert days that month.

If this all sounds unbearable, we can consider the winter of 2014-2015 when we had already endured 17 extreme cold alerts by this point. The city issued a total of 39 alerts that season.

The good news is we won’t be repeating such nastiness anytime soon. The weather will begin warming up Friday, and highs above zero are predicted through the weekend and into Monday.

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