‘Bitterly cold’ few days in store for Toronto

A “bitterly cold” arctic air mass is forecast to grip most of southern Ontario until at least Thursday night, Environment Canada says.

The system moved in over Toronto during the night, bringing plunging temperatures and frigid wind chill values. Wednesday’s high is expected to be –14 C, though it will feel more like –29. The mercury will fall to –21 C by this evening, with wind chill values around –34 through the night.

It should feel as though it is –31 during Thursday’s morning commute.

“We’re not going to see any recovery until Thursday night or Friday morning, with some warmer air moving in,” said David Rogers, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

The federal weather agency issued an extreme cold warning for the city that remains in place.

The freezing temperatures follow a considerable storm that dumped around 20 centimetres of snow on Toronto and even more on surrounding regions earlier this week.

The snowfall caused major problems for drivers, pedestrians and public transit riders. The TTC was forced to shut down Line 3 on Monday night, and it remained out of service yesterday. Stuart Green, a spokesperson for the transit agency, said early this morning that Line 3 Scarborough “should operate as planned today.”

While it will undoubtedly be a frigid few days in this part of Canada, our neighbours to the south are facing even colder temperatures. A polar vortex hovering over the U.S. Midwest has brought daily lows of –32 C to the region, with some states experiencing wind chill values below –50.

It is the coldest air that the Midwest has seen in more than a generation, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

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