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Environment Canada issues extreme cold warning for GTA

CityNews | posted Thursday, Dec 28th, 2017

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Environment Canada issued an extreme cold weather warning on Wednesday for the GTA and beyond, including Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, York and Durham regions, Caledon and Barrie.

Toronto’s medical officer of health also issued an extreme cold weather alert on Monday and it remained in effect on Wednesday. Forecasters said the highs will be in the minus double digits.

Motorists are being warned to drive with caution as high winds and blowing snow have caused reduced visibility on highways.

Residents are being advised to cover up any exposed skin and wear wool or synthetic fabrics instead of cotton. The city is also urging people to check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.

Environment Canada sayid it’s unusual to have a wave of frigid air stay around this long.

Meteorologist Alexandre Parent said Wednesday the big chill is affecting the Prairies, Ontario and western Quebec and was to spread into the Maritimes.

He said northern Ontario was being hardest hit with the current cold snap, with temperatures expected to feel like -50 C with the wind chill in some places.

“The size of this cold wave in terms of geographical distribution is quite exceptional for this early in the winter season.

“What’s also exceptional is the duration of this episode,” he said, noting that the extreme cold weather could hang over Quebec for the next seven days.

The weather specialist said he had to go back to 1993 to find a similar cold spell between Christmas and Jan 1.

Temperatures were colder then, but the extreme cold didn’t stay around for long.

“The last few years we had one or two days of cold weather, but usually those were compensated by a few days near zero which is not the case this year,” Parent said.

“It’s the span of days with 10 to 15 degrees below normal which are exceptional.”

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