Toronto weather to warm up, but snow expected
Published Friday, January 3, 2014 6:57AM EST Last Updated Friday, January 3, 2014 7:02PM EST
GTA residents are enduring another day in winter’s icy grasp before they get a reprieve from the extreme cold this weekend.
However, the break is expected to be followed by a period of heavy snow starting Sunday night.
Late Friday morning, Environment Canada discontinued its wind chill warning for all of the GTA except Pickering, Oshawa and southern Durham Region. An extreme cold weather alert issued by the City of Toronto remains in effect.
Even though the wind chill warning has been lifted in some areas, it will still be very cold for the rest of the day Friday and people should continue to take precautions against frostnip or frostbite.
Before sunrise, the GTA experienced its coldest morning of the winter season. The wind chill hit -35 and the temperature dropped to -24 C, creating dangerously frigid conditions for homeless people who spent the night outdoors.
The temperature will gradually rise to 12 C on Friday but it will be much colder with the wind chill.
When the wind chill is between -28 and -39, exposed skin can freeze in 10 to 30 minutes, Environment Canada warned.
People should limit their exposure to the cold and bundle up if they head outside.
Cold causes problems for TTC
The cold caused significant problems for the TTC and public transit users in Toronto at the height of the morning commute.
About 50 streetcars were out of service and the TTC told riders to expect longer than normal wait times on all streetcar routes, especially the 510 Spadina line, due to weather-related mechanical issues.
The cold was affecting the streetcars' air brakes and there were problems moving the vehicles out of the yards, resulting in delays, a TTC spokesperson told CP24.
At one point, just six streetcars were running on the 510 Spadina line when 20 to 25 should have been operating.
The situation improved by 9 a.m. but the TTC warned there would be another shortage of streetcars during the afternoon rush home.
Buses were being prepped to supplement streetcar service.
Motorists also became stranded due to the cold. CAA South Central Ontario received hundreds of calls from motorists who had dead batteries or other problems.
Return of seasonal highs
After days of frigid cold, the weather will return to seasonal territory this weekend.
There will be a slow warmup through the day Friday and overnight as the temperature rises to -7 C on Saturday morning.
Environment Canada is predicting a high of -1 C on Saturday and flurries starting late at night.
Sunday will bring a high of zero degrees and a special weather statement for southern and eastern Ontario warns of the potential for heavy snow.
Normal temperatures for this time of year are highs of -2 C and lows of -9 C.