Cold weather alert still in effect following weekend snowstorm
Published Monday, February 9, 2015 8:06AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 9, 2015 10:00AM EST
The City of Toronto is under an extreme cold alert as temperatures are expected to dip to -20 C with the wind chill on Monday.
The Toronto's Medical Officer of Health issued an extreme cold weather alert on Sunday morning, which was extended Monday morning and remains in effect until further notice.
Environment Canada's forecast high is -6 C, but it will feel more like -12 to -20 with the wind chill. The national weather agency also predicts light flurries to last until Monday night.
Residents of the city can expect colder-than-usual temperatures to continue into March, meteorologist Geoff Coulson told CTV Toronto on Monday. Coulson predicts some days may actually be milder than normal, but the overall trend for the month of February is to be colder than the average temperature of approximately -6 C.
According to Coulson's forecast, residents can expect more extreme cold weather alerts this month.
The Medical Officer for Health calls an extreme cold weather alert when Environment Canada forecasts temperatures will reach -15 C or colder. Alerts are also issued at warmer temperatures if the forecast includes factors that increase the possible impact on health including wind chill factor, precipitation, or several consecutive days and nights of cold temperatures.
During cold weather alerts, Toronto Medical Officer David McKeown advises residents to check up on loved ones and those who may be particularly vulnerable.
Groups at risk of frostnip and frostbite, hypothermia, and worsening heart conditions include the elderly, infants, people with pre-existing heart or respiratory conditions and the homeless.
To stay warm, those who live in the city should dress in layers covering all exposed skin, stay dry, seek shelter, and avoid drinking alcohol.
Dozens of flights cancelled
More than 120 flights were cancelled at Toronto's Pearson and Billy Bishop airports on Monday morning.
On Sunday, Environment Canada issued a freezing drizzle advisory and a special weather statement as snow, ice and freezing rain fell over the Greater Toronto Area.
The warnings were lifted Sunday evening, and the light snow that fell overnight tapered off on Monday morning by approximately 4 a.m.
Despite the change in conditions, dozens of flights into and out of Toronto Pearson International Airport were cancelled on Monday. By 9:30 a.m., 63 arrivals and 40 departures had been cancelled, according to the airport website.
The cancelled flights represent 8.3 per cent of the airport's total arrivals and 5.3 per cent of departures.
The majority of cancelled flights were either departing from or heading to New York City and Ottawa.
Downtown, 15 arrivals and four departures had been cancelled at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
Travellers were reminded to check the status of their flight with their airline before leaving home.