Southern Ontario bracing for arrival of 'dangerous' blast of cold weather
No matter what the groundhogs may say, winter’s not over yet.
Toronto and most of Ontario are in for a frigid bout of winter weather, according to Environment Canada.
The national weather agency issued an Extreme Cold Warning Thursday for a large swath of the country, including the GTA.
While the temperature in Toronto sat at around 1 C Thursday afternoon, it’s expected to plummet overnight.
“In the wake of a strong cold front, wind chills are expected to reach minus 30 tonight into Friday morning,” Environment Canada said. “After moderating during the day Friday, wind chills may reach minus 30 again Friday night into early Saturday morning.”
The agency advised people to cover up any exposed skin, in order to avoid frostbite, which can develop within minutes. It also warned that the risk from the extreme cold is greater for young children, older adults, those with chronic illnesses, those who are without proper shelter, and those working or exercising outdoors.
“We add in the winds and it could be minus 31 in terms of the wind chill and certainly that is dangerous and hypothermia and frostbite in a matter of minutes. So it's quite quite serious,” Environment Canada Senior Climatologist Dave Phillips told CP24.
He said the city will see a wild swing in temperatures over the next few days.
“It's about as close as we get to what we call an Eastern Chinook, because we're going to go from Saturday morning of minus 19 and 30 hours later, it's going to be what, plus three in Toronto. So it's going to arrive quickly and depart just as fast.”
Overnight temperatures are expected to reach -19 C and -21 C Thursday and Friday respectively, though the temperature will feel like the -30s with the wind chill.
A high of -13 C is expected during the day on Friday, warming up to a high of -4 C on Saturday and a high of 3 C on Sunday.
GROUNDHOGS OFFER MIXED PREDICTIONS
Ironically, the Extreme Cold Warning comes on Groundhog Day, when people across North America turn to a slightly less scientific method for forecasting the weather in the hopes of glimpsing an early spring.
Tradition holds that if the groundhog emerges and sees its shadow, it will go back into its den and winter will continue for six more weeks. But if it doesn’t spot its shadow, spring will arrive early.
Signals were decidedly mixed among Canada’s famous four-legged weather predictors Thursday. In Quebec, Fred la Marmotte died just a day before he was set to do his duty. In a jam, the townspeople turned the job over to a young boy holding a stuffed groundhog toy. The boy conferred with his friends and called for six more weeks of winter.
Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 137th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Nova Scotia’s famous groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam, saw her shadow, portending six more weeks of winter.
Only Ontario’s Wiarton Willie turned out to be an optimist this year. The groundhog did not spot his shadow, heralding an early spring.
While the groundhogs hold a revered place in tradition, Phillips cautioned not to put too much stock in their predictions.
“This is about as silly as it gets. It is pure groundhog-wash,” Phillips joked.
Still, he said the enduring tradition speaks to Canadians’ obsession with weather.
“I mean, this is what we live for. We say ‘is it going to be a white or green Christmas? Is there going to be a January thaw? Is the groundhog going to see its shadow? Is March going to come in like a lion or like a lamb, April showers make for flowers,’” Phillips said.
“It's not real science, but it gives us a hope that maybe what we've had, if we don't like it, will improve.”
In terms of actual science, he said “it’s about that halfway point -- there's more winter behind us than ahead of us. And so I think the days are getting longer, it sort of validates what we're sensing.”
He offered some advice to those looking to the groundhogs for a sure prediction, however.
“I wouldn't bet my pension on it.”
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Biden is coming to Canada: Here's what we know about his visit
U.S. President Joe Biden is coming to Canada Thursday evening, kicking off his short but long-awaited official visit to Canada. Here's what CTV News has confirmed about what will be on the agenda, and what key players are saying about the upcoming visit.
What are the predictions for Canada's real estate market this spring?
The Canadian real estate market has been sluggish since last year, when prospective buyers started putting off plans to purchase homes as the Bank of Canada aggressively hiked interest rates eight consecutive times. But realtors see many edging toward a purchase once more.
Canada broke a population growth record in 2022: StatCan
Canada's population grew by more than one million over the course of one calendar year, breaking previous records, a new Statistics Canada report says.
5 planets will align in an arc across the night sky next week
Sky-gazers will be treated to a parade of planets near the end of month when Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars will appear together in the night sky.
Federal government allowing Ukrainians overseas to apply for free emergency visa until mid-July
The federal government will give Ukrainians until mid-July to apply for a free temporary visa to Canada under an emergency program put in place last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Prince William visits troops in Poland on surprise trip
Prince William made an unannounced trip to Poland on Wednesday to thank British and Polish troops involved in providing support to Ukraine, before meeting refugees who have fled the conflict with Russia to hear of their experiences.
AP sources: Manhattan DA postpones Trump grand jury session
Manhattan prosecutors postponed a scheduled grand jury session Wednesday in the investigation into Donald Trump over hush money payments during his 2016 presidential campaign, at least temporarily slowing a decision on whether to charge the ex-president.
What made Beethoven sick? DNA from his hair offers clues
Nearly 200 years after Ludwig van Beethoven's death, researchers pulled DNA from strands of his hair, searching for clues about the health problems and hearing loss that plagued him.
Dick Van Dyke suffers 'minor injuries' in Malibu car crash
Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke has suffered minor injuries after his car was involved in a collision in Malibu, California, police in the city have confirmed.
WATCH LIVE AT 4:30
WATCH LIVE AT 4:30 | 5 remain missing as crews continue search through wreckage of Old Montreal fire
The search for victims continues in Old Montreal Wednesday, nearly a week after a major fire left at least two dead and five missing. Rescuers are slowly but surely combing through the historic building, which contained multiple illegal Airbnb units at the time of the fire.
'Bricks versus bodies': Father agonizes over pace of recovery efforts in old Montreal fire
As the search for victims of a five-alarm fire in Old Montreal stretched into its fifth day on Tuesday, friends and family members are getting frustrated with the pace of the investigation and lack of answers.
WEATHER WARNING | Freezing rain warning in effect for Montreal
It may officially be spring, but wintery weather is hanging on. A Colorado low moving into Quebec is expected to bring light freezing rain this evening, after the evening rush hour
Suspect arrested in relation to random downtown stabbing: London police
London police have made an arrest in connection to a random stabbing that occured inside a vehicle stopped at a train crossing on Tuesday afternoon.
Tenant recounts harrowing escape from Aylmer fire
Despite losing nearly everything he owns in a downtown Aylmer fire, Justin Temple says he is fortunate to be alive. Standing in front of the blocked-off remains of the century building he called home until Monday night, he recalled his frantic escape.
No more squinting: Bright signs on Wonderland Rd. turned down
Drivers in west London won’t have to squint at night or early in the dark hours of the morning when traveling along a section of Wonderland Road north.
BREAKING | Ont.’s police watchdog investigating incident near Belwood Lake
Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating an incident near Belwood Lake, a few kilometres northeast of Fergus, Ont.
'I'm going to die': Officer recalls night Beau Baker fatally shot
Remembering the night he fatally shot Beau Baker outside a Kitchener apartment on Brybeck Crescent in April 2015, Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) Staff Sgt. Eric Boynton - who was a patrol officer at the time - testified he was worried about Baker killing himself or others.
Close call caught on video after driver runs stop sign in Guelph
Guelph police are looking for a driver who was captured on dash cam footage speeding through an intersection without braking at a stop sign.
Family sues OPP, others, for more than $2M after woman dies in Sudbury, Ont., jail
The family of a woman who died by suicide in November 2020 while incarcerated at the Sudbury Jail is suing police and other officials for more than $2 million.
Northern Ont. police find driver unconscious at the wheel, motor running
Ontario Provincial Police responding to a different call March 17 discovered a driver slumped over the wheel in a running parked car on Main Street in the Town of Thessalon.
Ontario's summer forecast has been revealed. What to expect from June to September
The Farmers' Almanac has released its 2023 summer forecast, and, according to the long-range forecaster, Ontario could be in for some 'hot and soggy' summer months.
Sutcliffe not ruling out public funding for new Senators arena
As the sale of the Ottawa Senators heats up, the city's mayor isn't ruling out public funding for a new downtown arena for the team.
Here are the road closures to expect when U.S. President Biden visits Ottawa
The city of Ottawa has released its list of road closures for the presidential motorcade and visit, starting Thursday when Biden arrives and ending Friday night after his departure.
Ottawa Hospital says for-profit surgeries not impacting other procedures
The Ottawa Hospital says it's working with a group of surgeons providing for-profit orthopedic surgeries at the Riverside Campus on Saturdays to ensure there is "no impact on staffing" and cancer procedures at the hospital.
Car strikes home in LaSalle, driver in serious condition
A LaSalle man is in serious condition and facing an impaired driving charge after a car collided with an attached garage of a home, according to police.
Windsor West MP commends transfer of Ojibway Shores to Parks Canada, but upset over delays
Days after the announcement of a land transfer of Ojibway Shores from the Windsor Port Authority to Parks Canada Windsor West New Democrat MP Brian Masse is thankful the process is finally complete, but upset about continual delays to establishing a national urban park.
Windsor Regional Hospital offering new specialized surgery for vascular patients
Windsor-Essex residents now have more specialized services for vascular patients available at Windsor Regional Hospital.
Barrie man released from prison after successfully appealing murder conviction
After spending nearly eight years behind bars for the stabbing death of Milan (Mike) Segota, Terrence Barrett is a free man.
Woman blows 4x legal alcohol limit after crashing into car in school parking lot
A Tottenham woman faces impaired driving charges for allegedly blowing four times over the legal limit after crashing into a vehicle in a school parking lot.
Collingwood firefighters rescue 5 people after boat capsized on Georgian Bay
Five people had to be rescued Wednesday morning when a boat capsized on Georgina Bay near Nottawasaga Island.
Transportation Safety Board report on sinking cites lax federal rules on stability
A Transportation Safety Board of Canada report has linked the fatal sinking of a Nova Scotia scallop dragger in 2020 to years of federal inaction on the imposition of stricter stability standards for fishing vessels.
Class to resume Wednesday at Halifax-area high school two days after stabbings
Students at a Halifax-area school where two staff members were stabbed Monday are set to return to class Wednesday afternoon.
Weather statements issued in the Maritimes ahead of snow Thursday
Environment Canada has issued special weather statements in the Maritimes ahead of a spring mix of snow and rain arriving Thursday.
Why were there fireworks in Calgary last night?
Plenty of Calgarians were surprised to hear the sound of fireworks ringing through the city on Tuesday night.
Calgary councillor expecting first child
Calgary councillor Jasmine Mian and her husband are expecting their first child.
Zellers food truck rolls into Calgary on Thursday as store reopens
The Calgary Zellers location opens to the public on Thursday and those visiting the nostalgic retailer will also be able to grab a bite from the Zellers Diner on Wheels.
Manitoba's minimum wage is increasing
The minimum wage in Manitoba is increasing to $15.30 this October.
Major risk of flooding on Red River this spring, predicts Manitoba government
There is a major risk of flooding on the Red River this spring, according to Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre
Police release picture of suspect in assault case
Winnipeg police are looking for the public's help in trying to identify a suspect in an assault case.
'I don’t see an end at this point': The struggle to shut down a violent homeless camp in Abbotsford
Years after the site first sprang up, many wonder if what’s known as the Lonzo camp will ever be shut down.
RCMP seek suspect after pair of porta-potty fires in North Vancouver
Mounties in North Vancouver have released a sketch of a suspect believed to be linked to two deliberately set porta-potty fires in the city.
1 person sent to hospital after 2-vehicle crash in Langley
A two-vehicle crash in Langley late Tuesday sent at least one person to hospital.
Memorial donuts being sold in support of slain Edmonton police officers
A Crossfield, Alta., bakery is creating something special in memory of Constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan, who were shot to death last week.
Police say body of woman found on path by Prospect Point Park storm pond
An investigation is underway following the discovery of a woman's body along a park pathway in Fort McMurray, Alta.
Oilers sign Swedish centre Carl Berglund to entry-level contract
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Carl Berglund to a two-year entry level contract.