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Toronto issues extreme cold weather alert

Staff writers
January 14, 2012 — The City of Toronto issued an extreme cold weather alert Friday due to frigid temperatures expected this weekend.

Temperatures are dropping in southern Ontario
Temperatures are dropping in southern Ontario

It's the second extreme cold weather alert for Toronto so far this season.

The city issues alerts when the temperature is forecast to dip below -15°C. By noon on Saturday, temperatures were still only -13°C, but felt more like -23°C with windchill. The alerts activate additional services for the homeless, including extra shelter spaces.

“Obviously [the cold weather] is a great concern,” says Rose Cino of Covenant House Toronto, a shelter for homeless youth. “We have been seeing more people coming in and we're very relieved by that.”

When temperatures fall below -10°C, it doesn't take long for frostbite and hypothermia to set in. To minimize your risk, make sure to bundle up and limit your time outdoors.

The frigid conditions are thanks to a series of low pressure systems that have been bringing a widespread messy mix to Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

“Behind that system is the wind, leaving the cold weather,” explains Martin Belanger, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “We're expecting much colder temperatures and windchill values for the weekend.”

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