Toronto’s medical officer of health has issued an extreme cold weather alert ahead of plummeting temperatures later today.

Environment Canada is calling for a high of -4 C in Toronto on Wednesday but the national weather agency says the temperature is expected to drop later tonight.

The temperature is expected to dip to -13 C by tomorrow morning and will feel closer to -16 with the wind chill.

Extreme cold weather alerts are typically issued when the temperature is forecast to reach around -15 C or colder, or when the wind chill is expected to drop to -20 or colder.

The alert prompts city staff to offer additional services to Toronto’s homeless population, including making more shelter beds available and opening warming centres.

During an alert, the city advises people to dress warmly, stay dry, and avoid lengthy periods outdoors. Residents are also reminded to check on vulnerable family members and neighbours.

While the frigid weather is expected to stick around for part of the day on Thursday, a dramatic temperature shift is on the horizon.

Environment Canada says the city will see a high of 8 C come Friday.