Prepare for ‘severe wind gusts and up to 25 mm of rain’ on Friday, Environment Canada warns

Severe wind gusts, showers and scattered thunderstorms with up to 25 mm in some areas are in store for Toronto, Environment Canada said Thursday.

The federal agency issued a special weather statement for the city Thursday afternoon, in which it said there’s the potential for brief severe wind gusts Friday morning or early afternoon.

Showers and scattered thunderstorms are forecast to begin Thursday night into Friday, according to Environment Canada.

Mitch Meredith, severe weather meteorologist with Environment Canada, told CBC Toronto that a “fairly large scale weather system” in the form of a low pressure system, will  pass north of Toronto early Friday.

“Initially, we’re going to be getting showers and possibly even a thunderstorm … and that’s associated with quite a big warm front,” Meredith said.

“We could see the odd gusts over 80 kilometres an hour or so,” he said, adding that a cold front will pass over Toronto late Friday morning.

Expect double-digit temperatures Friday

But the first day of spring is expected to bring warmer temperatures for Torontonians.

“We are expecting actually a warm-up to about 12 or 13 C by the morning as that warm front pushes over us with the weather,” Meredith said.

City is prepared, emergency manager says

Meanwhile, the general manager for the city’s office of emergency management, Matthew Pegg, says emergency services and Toronto Hydro are prepared and ready to respond as required.

“The city’s urban forestry team has arranged to have 55 crews available to respond to fallen trees and branches, prioritizing safety hazards, blocked roads and to provide assistance to Toronto Hydro as required should that become necessary,” Pegg said.

“Additional crews will also be on standby. City Parks is calling in staff to be ready to address any flooding issues and to clear culverts, etc.”

Pegg, who is also Toronto’s fire chief, spoke at a news conference Thursday afternoon to give an update on how the city is tackling the COVID-19 outbreak.

He said if winds are high enough that the ferry is unable to dock safely at Ward’s Island, residents will be bused to Hanlon’s Point, which is more protected from the wind.

“The ferry will pick them up from there and take them across. Residents will be informed of this change by email,” Pegg said.

“As always, should you encounter a downed power line, stay at least 10 metres away, which is roughly the length of a full-size school bus, and call 911 for help.”

With the severe weather on its way, Pegg is reminding residents that while garbage and recycling collection will continue as scheduled, yard-waste collection has been suspended as part of the COVID-19 measures.

“If you have put yard waste out for collection this week, please remove it from the curb until further notice,” he said.


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