It's finally March, AKA the month when spring starts but apparently, winter didn't get the memo. That's because Toronto just issued an extreme cold warning ahead of deep freeze temperatures that are expected to last all week. It all begins tonight.
There are many factors involved in issuing an extreme cold warning and they vary in each place. In Toronto, extreme cold warnings are issued when the forecasted temperature is below -15°C or if the wind chill values are below -20°C. Other factors that are considered are precipitation, if there are daytime lows, or several consecutive cold days.
Unfortunately for Toronto, today's warning is because of that first reason, extremely low forecasted temperatures. Tonight it's expected to drop, getting down to -11°C by 1 AM but it's going to actually feel like -20°C. It doesn't stop there though, the temperature will keep dropping, reaching -15°C by Monday morning at 7 AM but then it will actually feel like -23°C.
These extremely cold temperatures are expected to last too. According to the forecast, Monday overnight and Tuesday morning will still have temperatures that feel like below -20°C, reaching as low as -25°C at times. This will last all week.
According to the weather forecast, Tuesday overnight and Wednesday morning will also be frigid, with temperatures likely to feel like -26°C at times, meaning the extreme cold warning in the city is likely to last.
In fact, based on the forecast and the city's criteria for issuing extreme cold alerts, there is likely to be one in place every day until Thursday or Friday, when the temperature will finally start climbing back up closer to zero.
This is depressing news for Torontonians, especially if we were hoping that the start of spring on March 20 would actually bring some spring weather with it.
This could be good news though if you believe in that old phrase "in like a lion, out like a lamb." The phrase is often used to describe March weather and our hopes for spring. Since the month is off to a brutal start (in like a lion) then hopefully that means it will end with nice spring weather.
During extreme cold warnings, the city advises people to check on neighbours and family, especially if they are more at risk to the cold, to layer and avoid exposed skin, and to stay dry.