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Biting cold strikes southern Ontario

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

February 10, 2011 — Bone-chilling temperatures continue to grip much of southern Ontario, but there is a bit of a warm-up coming this weekend.

Snow squalls are forecast to continue through Friday
Snow squalls are forecast to continue through Friday

It's the type of weather that really puts Canadians to the test at this point in the winter season.

Temperatures across southern Ontario have plummeted well below the freezing mark over the last couple of days, making for frigid nights and bitterly cold mornings. In some cases, temperatures have been hovering around -15C, but with the windchill it has felt about ten degrees colder.

The City of Toronto has activated additional support services to help get homeless people in from the cold by calling an extreme cold weather alert. An alert is called when Environment Canada predicts a temperature of -15C or lower, without wind chill. This is the seventh extreme cold weather alert to be issued for Toronto this winter.

When the temperatures plunge it doesn't take long for hypothermia to set in, so health officials are reminding people to limit your time and exposure outdoors. It was just last Friday when a Toronto man was found freezing in a snowbank. Police say he was outside in the cold for a lengthy period of time and his conditions were life threatening mid-morning.

A cardinal shivers in Toronto's High Park
A cardinal shivers in Toronto's High Park

While temperatures have been frigid, residents in southern Ontario haven't had to worry about revving up that snow blower like some were forced to do last weekend.

A system that moved through on Saturday brought up to 25 cm to parts of southwestern Ontario.

Areas north of Toronto however, are dealing with some significant snow squalls. Environment Canada says visibilities in the Muskoka region are very low as gusty winds and blowing snow help to deteriorate road conditions. Lake-effect flurries are also hitting some areas off of Georgian Bay. Up to 15 cm is forecast through Friday.

The good news is that the warm-up will come into play starting Saturday with the rush of milder air into the region. By Sunday, temperatures are expected to hover around a balmy 3C, which is above seasonal for this time of year.

To stay up-to-date on the weather in your area, be sure to check the Ontario Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV as the local forecast comes up every 10 minutes on the 10's.

With files from Jill Colton and Lyndsay Morrison

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