Extreme cold weather alert issued for Toronto

Bundle up because it's going to get downright chilly overnight in the city.

So much so that Toronto's Medical Officer of Health has issued an Extreme Cold weather alert.

Alerts are issued when temperatures are expected to drop below a threshhold of -15c before windchill and at least -20c with the windchill.

Temperatures in Toronto are forecast to plummet down to -17c Sunday night, with windchill values hovering around -24c.

Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health. Hypothermia occurs when the body's core temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius and can have severe consequences, including organ failure and death. Frostbite can also occur in cold weather when skin freezes and, in severe cases, can lead to amputation when deeper tissues freeze.

Those most at risk of cold-related illness are people experiencing homelessness or those under-housed, those who work outdoors, people with a pre-existing heart condition or respiratory illness, elderly people, infants and young children. People with heart problems can experience worsening of their condition up to several days after cold weather occurs.

The alert is also a mechanism to extend hours of operation for temporary warming centres and shelters for those in need.

A warming centre is open at Metro Hall by 7 p.m. the day an alert is called, and remains open continuously until noon on the day an alert is terminated. Other services include notification to community agencies to relax any service restrictions, availability of transit tokens in some drop-ins, and additional overnight street outreach. 

with files from City of Toronto