Extreme cold weather alert issued ahead of temperature drop tonight
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2018 8:14AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 21, 2018 1:04PM EST
The first extreme cold weather alert of the season has been issued for Toronto ahead of a big temperature drop overnight.
The city’s medical officer of health issued the alert on Wednesday morning.
Toronto will see a high of 0 C on Wednesday but by 7 p.m., the temperature will drop to -7 C and will feel like -15 with the wind chill. The temperature will continue to plummet to -13 C overnight and it will feel closer to -19 by early Thursday morning.
Extreme cold weather alerts are rare in November. Wednesday's alert is only the second one to be issued in November over the past decade.
Despite the premature deep freeze, Toronto's Associate Medical Officer of Health, Christine Navarro, said the city is prepared.
"The City of Toronto is ready with our cold weather plan. Right now for persons experiencing homelessness, in addition to our usual services, there should be a warming centre available at Metro Hall starting at 7 p.m., as well as increased outreach services," Navarro told CP24 on Wednesday.
The city issues an extreme cold weather alert whenever the temperature drops to -15 C or -20 with the wind chill.
"When we think about extreme weather alerts we want to make sure that vulnerable populations are aware that they are at risk for hypothermia," Navarro said.
Those most susceptible to cold-related illnesses include people experiencing homelessness, people with pre-existing heart conditions, elderly people, infants, and people who work outdoors.
“Some of the signs and symptoms you might look for with hypothermia are things like shivering, maybe loss of coordination and maybe a little bit of confusion. That can lead to loss of consciousness or organ failure and then even death. In order to prevent people from experiencing hypothermal they should make sure they stay warm and stay dry," Navarro added.
Officials recommend residents drink warm, non-alcoholic fluids, dress in layers, and limit or reschedule outdoor activities.
The weather is expected to warm up on Friday. Sunshine and a high of 0 C is in the forecast on Friday and daytime highs of 5 C are expected on both Saturday and Sunday.