Toronto

Special weather statement warns of possible thunderstorms with heavy rainfall

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Toronto and other parts of the GTA, warning of isolated thunderstorms through the evening that could boost rainfall totals.

Earlier, TRCA said rain and warmer weather will cause rivers, streams and creeks to rise considerably

A rise in water levels from rain and snow melt could cause further break-up of ice on rivers throughout the GTA. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press)

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Toronto and other parts of the GTA, warning of isolated thunderstorms through the evening that could boost rainfall totals.

The federal weather agency says "several rounds" of rain showers are expected in the area through the afternoon and evening, with rainfall totals hitting about 10 millimetres. But the isolated thunderstorms could boost that to between 15 and 25 mm in some areas by late in the evening.

The rain combined with warmer temperatures will also melt some of the ice and snow that remains around the city, which "may cause significant snowmelt or runoff leading to localized ponding on streets and other low lying areas," Environment Canada says.

Temperatures are expected to reach as high as 10 C Thursday, and remain above freezing until at least the middle of next week.

Earlier Thursday, Toronto's conservation authority warned residents to be mindful around water over the next few days, with rain and warmer weather in the forecast increasing the risk of flooding.

"Please exercise caution around all bodies of water," a statement issued by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority said. 

"Since many rivers and streams currently have partial to full ice-cover, the rainfall and snowmelt may potentially lead to ice-jams and localized flooding near culverts, bridge piers and meanders," the TRCA said.

Large and potentially dangerous ice jams were recently observed in the Lower Humber River at Old Mill and in Duffins Creek near the border of Pickering and Ajax. 

"The combination of slippery and unstable banks could create hazardous conditions close to any river, stream or other water body. All shorelines, rivers and streams within the GTA should be considered hazardous," the TRCA continued.

The flooding alert is expected to remain in place until at least Saturday, at which point the TRCA will re-evaluate conditions. 

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