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Wind chill, extreme cold warnings end for Toronto

CityNews | posted Friday, Feb 28th, 2014

The wind chill warning for Toronto and the GTA from Environment Canada has ended. And Toronto cancelled its extreme cold weather alert on Friday afternoon after issuing it on Monday.

There’s a high of -11 C in the forecast for the last day of February. The average high this time of year is 2 C (yes, above zero), 680News meteorologist Jill Taylor said.

Friday will be sunny and cold, with a low near -12 C.

Temperatures will rise overnight, with scattered flurries and a brief break from the bitter cold on Saturday. Saturday’s high is near 0 C and the low is near -13 C.

“If you’ve got any ice or snow around your house, you’ve got to chip it off and get rid of it. Maybe even throw some salt on there on Saturday,” CityNews meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai said, as the warming weather could cause it to melt.

“Two to five centimetres of snow are on the way from Saturday night into Sunday morning,” she said.

On Sunday, the colder weather will return, with a high near -7 C and a low near -18 C.

Click here for the full forecast.

Google Street View can help locate snow-covered catch basins

CityNews | posted Thursday, Feb 20th, 2014

With lots of rain in store for Toronto and the potential for flooding, city officials are urging residents to help clear catch basins on their streets.

The city says it is deploying extra crews to clear catch basins to help prevent flooding. The focus is on known problem areas, as well as spots around bus stops, crosswalks and key intersections.

Residents are being asked to help clear ice and snow from catch basins in front of their homes so water can get to the storm sewer.

But if the sewers are covered with snow, you can find them using Google Street View.

Here’s how:
•    Go to maps.google.ca.
•    Enter your address in the search engine.
•    Drag the yellow male icon to the street on the map.
•    Look for the square grates on the road in the image.

Residents are also asked to call 311 to report any flooding.

During extreme weather, the city says it may be inundated with calls and they will be answered by the first available agent. The service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With files from Showwei Chu, CityNews.ca

Weekend winter storm to wallop GTA with snow, rain and freezing rain

CityNews | posted Saturday, Feb 1st, 2014

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of southern Ontario as a low pressure system moves through the area Saturday into Sunday morning.

The GTA could see five to 10 centimetres of snow before the snow turns to rain later in the day and then potentially turns back to snow Saturday night.

Periods of freezing rain are possible during the changeovers but are expected to be brief, said Environment Canada.

Roads in the city will be slick this afternoon according to 680News meteorologist Harold Hosein.

“This will be fairly heavy, wet snow, so it will make for slippery walking conditions, and very slippery driving conditions. And visibility will be severely reduced during the afternoon hours,” said Hosein.

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for parts of York and Durham regions, including Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and Markham.

Fifteen to 20 centimetres could fall in these areas throughout Saturday and into Sunday night.

Snowfall warnings continue for other areas in the region including Newmarket, Uxbridge, and Northern York Region.

The OPP is asking drivers to stay off municipal roads in Dufferin County as snow and high winds continue to cause visibility problems and road crews struggle to clear snow drifts that reach 12 feet in some places.

Six of the eight municipalities in the county are under a state of emergency, which was called to unlock extra resources to help those areas dig out.

Some flights from Pearson and Billy Bishop airports have been cancelled. Click here or here to check your flight status before leaving for the airport.

Strong winds and low temps blow through GTA

CityNews | posted Sunday, Jan 19th, 2014

Winds along the shores of Lake Ontario could kick up to 70 km/h as a sharp cold front sweeps south across southern Ontario Sunday, reaching the 401 corridor overnight.

Following the front, an arctic air mass will settle over the area, sending the mercury down with wind chill values between -25 C and -35 Tuesday morning.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of southern Ontario, including the City of Toronto, Halton, Peel, York, Durham and Hamilton.

The front could bring two to four centimetres of snow in some places, with areas north east of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay potentially seeing up to 10 centimetres.

Strong winds are developing ahead of the front, and gusts along the shores of the Great Lakes could be as high as 50 to 70 km/h.

The northeast shore of Lake Erie and Sandbanks Provincial Park in Picton could see winds as fast as 90 km/h.

Intense flurries and blowing snow could result in zero visibility at times.

Hamilton mom wants school to ban dairy products

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Jan 15th, 2014

A Hamilton mother has pulled her 6-year-old daughter out of school and filed a human rights complaint because she says the school hasn’t accommodated her child’s life-threatening allergy to dairy products.

She wants the school to ban dairy so her daughter can enjoy her experience at school without the threat of severe allergic reactions.

The story has opened up a storm of controversy and CityNews reporter Tammie Sutherland has a full report in the below video.

Rain heading to Toronto, GTA under special weather statement

CityNews | posted Friday, Jan 10th, 2014

Warmer temperatures and rain could be heading to Toronto and the rest of the GTA on Friday, Environment Canada warned.

The federal agency has issued a special weather statement for the region, warning that widespread fog patches and areas of freezing drizzle are likely on Friday morning.

680News meteorologist Jill Taylor said Toronto will see a cloudy Friday with some flurries ending by the afternoon, followed by flurries or showers in the evening.

“A centimetre or two of snow this morning, mainly for the west end. We get a break for the afternoon, generally just a cloudy sky, and then showers and flurries mixing in through the evening hours, so your drive home could be slippery as well,” Taylor said.

The GTA received more snow overnight, which made for slick driving conditions during the Friday morning commute. The 680News traffic department reports vehicles spun out on several routes.

There’s a high of 2C in the forecast, Taylor said, and the temperature is expected to rise overnight.

The same deepening low pressure system will bring widespread fog patches and areas of freezing drizzle across the GTA. It should clear later in the day, Environment Canada said.

Late Friday evening, the rain will move into southwestern Ontario and eastward. About 10-20 millimetres of rain are expected, and for most areas, it will end by Saturday afternoon.

Ponding and flooding are a concern with the incoming rain and melting snow and ice. Peter Noehammer with Toronto Transporation told CityNews on Thursday they have crews out with bobcats and front-end loaders trying to open clogged catch basins.

With files from Erin Criger and Jaime Pulfer

Toronto hammered by cold spell, air travel & roads affected

CityNews | posted Monday, Jan 6th, 2014

Toronto is being hammered by a spell of cold weather that is affecting air travel and roads – and it’s going to get colder and snowier on Monday night.

With the wind, it will feel like -35 C to -40 C on Monday night and into Tuesday morning, and similar temperatures are expected across the region, CityNews meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai said.

Those working outdoors should take extreme caution, as exposed skin may freeze in 10-30 minutes.

The wind chill will improve slowly late Tuesday, Ramsahai said.

But before it does, parts of the GTA will get into snow squalls with reduced visibility and near whiteout conditions on Monday afternoon and evening. Road conditions in the city are expected to worsen Monday night, Ramsahai said.

Snow squall warnings are in effect for parts of the GTA including northern York and Durham regions where 15-30 cm may accumulate by Tuesday morning with near whiteout conditions.

For motorists that find themselves stuck on a snow-blocked highway or in an accident, they could potentially face dangerous wind chills if they have to leave their vehicle.

Travellers are advised to make sure they have an emergency kit in their cars, and enough fuel for their journey.

Weather alerts and warnings

The city is also under an extreme cold weather alert and a wind chill warning.

An extreme cold weather alert is triggered when temperatures are expected to fall below – 15 C. The city makes extra shelter spaces available and overnight street outreach is increased in the downtown core to get the homeless in from the cold.

TTC tokens are also offered so that people can use public transit to get to shelters.

Click here for the full forecast.

A flash freeze warning that was issued earlier Monday, warning of a messy morning commute, has since ended.

Travel advisories

GO Transit advised all passengers to leave extra time for their morning commute, as delays were expected.

Dozens of flights have already been cancelled at Pearson airport. Click here to see if yours was affected.

A Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) spokeswoman said nine flights have been diverted from Montreal and Ottawa to Toronto, which has affected deplaning, but most of the cancellations are weather related.

There were about 1,600 scheduled flights Monday and so far, 163 have been cancelled – about 10 per cent.

“It has been a busy day,” Silvana Aceto of the southern Ontario CAA told CityNews.

“As of 10 a.m. we had over 2,000 calls for service [and] we expect volumes to continue to rise as the temperature drops.”

Aceto noted that on an average winter day, the CAA deals with approximately 3,000 calls. That number can double during severe weather.

OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford said that since midnight, the OPP has received 960 calls for service.

Visit our Storm Centre for live updates on closures and cancellations.

Outside Toronto

Meanwhile, a blizzard warning has been issued for the following places in southern Ontario:

  • Caledon
  • Huron-Perth
  • Waterloo-Wellington
  • Dufferin-Innisfil
  • Grey-Bruce
  • Barrie-Orillia-Midland
  • Port Carling-Port Severn
  • Bracebridge-Gravenhurst

Blizzard-like conditions including near zero visibility and gusty winds over 40 km/h are expected to last for many hours on Monday night.

With files from Erin Criger, CityNews.ca

New Year’s Eve parties for families in Toronto

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Dec 31st, 2013

There are plenty of events to keep the kids busy on Tuesday as the city prepares to ring in 2014.

Nathan Phillips Square
City’s New Year’s Eve party
8 p.m. to midnight

  • skating
  • food trucks
  • musical performances from KiSS 92.5 DJ Clymaxxx, R&B band Fathead and funk band God Made Me Funky
  • fireworks show

Toronto Zoo
Special animals and entertainment
5-8 p.m.
Tickets:

  • General (includes Adults & Seniors) $20.00
  • Children (3-12) $12.00
  • Children (2 & under) free

Natrel Rink (Harbourfront Centre)
Skating Party
10 a.m. – 2 a.m.

  • Two-for-one skate rentals after 10pm
  • DJ spinning music from 8pm-1am
  • $22.50 for a pitcher of beer and 1lb of wings

TIFF Bell Lightbox
Art workshops
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Japanese animation workshop (ages 9-11)
  • Comedy workshop (ages 12-14)

Colbourne Lodge
Tour
Adults $7.07
Seniors/Youths/Children $4.42 + tax

On Wednesday, Jan. 1, Mayor Rob Ford and city councillors will be hosting a levee at City Hall from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion will host hers at the Mississauga Civic Centre from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, click here.

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