'Bitterly cold' air descends on Toronto, throwing a wrench into some commutes

Wednesday's high was expected to be –14 C, though it felt more like –29. The mercury will fall to –21 C by this evening, with wind chill values around –34 through the night.

Arctic air mass to bring frigid temperatures until at least Thursday night

The system moved in over Toronto during the night, bringing plunging temperatures and frigid wind chill values. Wednesday's high was expected to be –14 C, though it felt more like –29. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

A "bitterly cold" arctic air mass is forecast to grip most of southern Ontario until at least Thursday night, Environment Canada says.

The system moved in over Toronto during the night, bringing plunging temperatures and frigid wind chill values. Wednesday's high was expected to be –14 C, though it felt more like –29. The mercury will fall to –21 C by this evening, with wind chill values around –34 through the night.

It should feel as though it is –31 during Thursday's morning commute. 

"We're not going to see any recovery until Thursday night or Friday morning, with some warmer air moving in," said David Rogers, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

The federal weather agency's extreme cold warning issued for the city earlier this week remains in place. 

In Scarborough, the weather was to blame for the collapse of the Metro Golf Dome, where days of wind and snow were too much for the structure to take. The business will be closed for the rest of the season. 
Days of snow and wind were to blame for the collapsed dome at Metro Golf Dome in Scarborough. (Sue Reid/CBC)

The freezing temperatures follow a considerable storm that dumped around 20 centimetres of snow on Toronto and even more on surrounding regions earlier this week. The snowfall caused major problems for drivers, pedestrians and public transit riders.

The weather was also to blame for problems on TTC's Line 3, where service was suspended Wednesday.

GO Transit customers on the Lakeshore East line were also warned of delays of up to 30 minutes because of switch issues.

The UP Express also reported delays between 30-45 minutes, with expresses buses running between Union Station and Pearson Airport instead. But Wednesday night, service had been suspended.

While it will undoubtedly be a frigid few days in this part of Canada, our neighbours to the south are facing even colder temperatures. A polar vortex hovering over the U.S. Midwest has brought daily lows of –32 C to the region, with some states experiencing wind chill values below –50. 

It is the coldest air that the Midwest has seen in more than a generation, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. 


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