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Bitterly cold weather hits Ontario

Even dogs will need to bundle up.
Even dogs will need to bundle up.

Jill Colton, staff writer

January 17, 2011 — Northwesterly winds brought a deep freeze to southern Ontario over the weekend. Temperatures are expected to warm up as another low pressure system moves in.

A cold winter morning.
A cold winter morning.

According to Environment Canada, areas east of Barrie and Toronto will see temperatures plunge to the -20°C to -25°C range. The piercing weather is expected to hit areas like Algonquin and Bancroft the hardest. These regions could easily tumble down to -30°C. In addition, wind chills are making it feel even colder and there's a chance of lake-effect flurries.

During the early morning hours, Toronto's temperatures will drop sharply and hover around the low minus teens. Over the weekend, the city put an extreme cold weather alert into effect. This type of warning is issued to help get vulnerable people in from the cold. “As the day progresses, a low pressure system will push into the province helping to boost temperatures,” explains Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Next storm system moves in.
Next storm system moves in.

So what has generated the deep freeze? “It's a direct flow right from the Arctic ushered in by Saturday's Alberta clipper.” Brian Dillon, another meteorologist at The Weather Network adds, “Usually with a typical clipper we see light to moderate snows in front and frigid conditions behind it.” A rapid decline in conditions began on Sunday as the northwesterly winds pushed through behind the clipper.

When temperatures are this cutting, prolonged exposure can be dangerous. Frostbite normally affects the ears, nose, jaw, hands and feet. The extreme cold can also result in hypothermia so make sure to cover up your skin.

A woman in her sixties was found frozen in the bitter cold in Toronto's east end Monday morning. She wandered away from her home without a coat and was discovered on a driveway a block from her house. Despite crying out for help, no one came to the woman's aid. The police say paramedics attempted CPR on the woman but it was difficult because of how cold her body was.

The next low is developing over the Prairies and is set to slide through Ontario late Monday evening. This system will be messy with a combination of snow, rain and freezing rain. Northwestern regions will see up to 15 cm of snow by Tuesday morning.

For more details on the weather conditions in your area, be sure to check your local forecast. You can also tune in to The Weather Network on TV, where your National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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