Toronto under extreme cold weather alert Monday, high winds expected

·1 min read
Pedestrians wait to cross an intersection in downtown Toronto on Monday. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement warning of winds gusting up to 80 km/h on Monday afternoon.  (Sam Nar/CBC - image credit)
Pedestrians wait to cross an intersection in downtown Toronto on Monday. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement warning of winds gusting up to 80 km/h on Monday afternoon. (Sam Nar/CBC - image credit)

The City of Toronto issued an extreme cold weather alert on Monday as the city braces for bitter temperatures over the next 24 hours.

The city's medical officer of health issued the alert in a news release following Environment Canada's forecast.

The federal agency is calling for a high of 1 C, but says it will feel like -17 C with the wind chill. Winds gusting up to 80 km/h are expected in the city starting in the afternoon into early evening, making it feel close to -20 C.

"The strong winds may throw loose objects, cause tree branches to break and damage property. Power outages are also possible," says Environment Canada.

In a tweet, Alectra Utilities warned of the high winds, saying their crews are on standby to respond to possible outages and safety concerns.

They advised residents to watch out for broken tree limbs or downed lines and ensure mobile phones and and laptops are charged in the event of a power outage.

The high winds and low temperatures will continue into Tuesday, but the day will gradually warm up, according to Environment Canada.

During the extreme cold weather warning, local services that focus on getting and keeping vulnerable residents inside are activated.

Warming centres will be in operation Monday night by 7 p.m. at four locations and will remain open throughout the alert.

The city is asking residents to contact 311 if they see a person experiencing homelessness in need of assistance.

Extreme cold weather alerts are issued when the temperature in the daily forecast suggests temperatures will reach approximately -15 C or colder, or when the wind chill is forecast to reach -20 or colder.