Freezing rain warning in effect for Toronto just in time for morning commute
Freezing rain will change to snow overnight as city emerges from deep freeze, Environment Canada says
Environment Canada has ended its extreme cold warnings for all of Ontario, but a special weather statement is in effect calling for snow just in time for the morning commute.
Snowfall amounts averaging about 10 centimetres are expected across southern Ontario, though Toronto is forecast to see just half of that. The statement also extends to the surrounding regions of York, Durham, Halton and Peel.
Freezing rain has also been reported, sometimes mixed with ice pellets, and is expected to change into snow Monday morning before tapering off.
- Natural ice remains unsafe at any temperature, police say
- Deep freeze, then quick thaw could mean more potholes, water main breaks, city warns
The federal weather agency warns surfaces may become icy and slippery, and warns drivers should slow down and keep a safe following distance.
'Major' warming trend on the way
Meanwhile, warmer temperatures are in store for the city until at least Friday, said Glenn Robinson, a meteorologist for Environment Canada.
A "major" warming trend with temperatures above freezing will be followed by cooling but not likely extreme cold, he said.
The forecast for Thursday, for example, is calling for a high of 4 C.
"We do have some very brisk southwesterly winds today, but the temperatures are rising. So we are nowhere near the wind chill criteria anymore."
Robinson said the high pressure system from northern Canada has eased off Ontario, and behind that system, a southwesterly flow of milder air is coming from the central U.S.
Warming trend starting 'right now'
Environment Canada ended its extreme cold warning for Toronto at 4:44 a.m.
"Definitely, we have a warming trend beginning right now. It's going to continue until later in the week. And then, we're going to have a cold front go through on Friday morning and it's going to turn colder again, but it won't be nearly as cold as it has been in the last few days."
The forecast on Monday calls for a high of 0 C in the early afternoon and a low of –4 C at night. On Tuesday, it calls for a high of 0 C and a low of –9 C at night.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the forecast calls for a high of 1 C and a low of 0 C. And on Thursday, it calls for a high of 4 C and a low of –6 C.
Snow to fall Sunday night
As for precipitation, about two to four centimetres of snow is expected to fall on Sunday night with another two to three centimetres of snow due on Monday morning.
"We're going to get a light snowfall tonight," he said.
On Wednesday, there will be 40 per cent of flurries during the day and a 60 per cent of flurries or showers at night.
"We definitely have a bit of relief coming," he said.
On Friday, the forecast is calling for a high of –5 C and a low of –11 C.
City's extreme cold weather alert still in place
An extreme cold weather alert issued by Toronto Public Health, however, remains in place for the city.
Rajesh Benny, manager of healthy environments at Toronto Public Health, said Sunday the alert will likely be terminated on Monday at 7 a.m.
Benny said Toronto Public Health consults Environment Canada's 24-hour forecast daily before deciding whether to issue, extend or end an alert.
If the forecast calls for a temperature of –15 C or colder and a wind child of –20 C or colder, then an alert will be issued or extended.
On Sunday morning, he said the forecast called for wind chills of –20 C or less and therefore the city kept the alert in place.
The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ExtremeColdWeatherAlert?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ExtremeColdWeatherAlert</a> continues for Toronto today. Exposure to extreme cold weather can be harmful to your health. Learn how to keep warm & dry: <a href="https://t.co/rzrfklEg7u">https://t.co/rzrfklEg7u</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StayWarm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StayWarm</a>—@TOPublicHealth