TORONTO -- An extreme cold weather alert has been issued today by the city’s medical officer of health due to frigid temperatures in the forecast over the next 24 hours.

Environment Canada is calling for a high of -4 C in Toronto today but the temperature is expected to dip to -11 C overnight, feeling closer to -19 with the wind chill.

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Extreme cold weather alerts are typically issued when the daily forecast calls for temperatures around -15 C or colder, or when the wind chill is forecast to reach -20 or colder.

In addition to year-round 24-hour respite sites already open across Toronto, a warming centre will be open at Metro Hall starting tonight at 7 p.m. and will stay open until noon on the day the alert is terminated.

The city also offers additional overnight street outreach and transit tokens at some drop-ins while the alert is in effect.

Public health officials are asking members of the public to check on vulnerable family members, friends, and neighbours.

Those at the greatest risk of cold-related illnesses are people experiencing homelessness, elderly people, infants, those who work outdoors and people with pre-existing heart of respiratory conditions.

Significantly warmer weather is on the way this weekend.

Toronto will see a high of 2 C on Friday, 3 C on Saturday, and 6 C on Sunday.