TORONTO – Looks like Wiarton Willie was wrong.
The weather prognosticator called for an early spring on Groundhog Day. Except it’s not going that way. At all.
Though December was warmer than normal, the cold returned in January. But it’s about to get much, much colder.
We’re talking the winter of 2014 cold.
Environment Canada has already issued extreme cold warnings across parts of Ontario.
Toronto has also placed its own Extreme Cold Weather Alert for the city until further notice.
#CityofTO has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today for Toronto – in effect until further notice. 广州蒲友t.co/laVn8fTlso
— City of Toronto (@TorontoComms) February 12, 2015
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It all starts on Thursday, when a cold blast of Arctic air funnels into Ontario dropping daytime temperatures anywhere from -24 C in Timmins to -16 C across the Greater Toronto Area. Lows will be close to -25 C for much of the region. The normal daytime high for Toronto is -1 C.
“We’re setting up pipeline directly from the Arctic circle right down into our area,” said Geoff Coulson, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.
Though Friday and Saturday warms up somewhat to around -11 C in the GTA, it comes at a cost: snow, though just a few centimetres for Toronto.
The Arctic cold pushes back in on Sunday, however. In Toronto, the daytime high will be -18 C with a low of around -21 C. The mercury will climb after that, but not very high. It will still be colder than normal for this time of year.
In the Geraldton area, Environment Canada is forecasting a low of -43 C on Sunday.
“If Geraldton does get down to minus 43, that would break their current record of that date in history of minus 41,” Coulson said, a record that was set in 2003.
Sudbury could also see some record cold. So far, however, it doesn’t look like the GTA will break any records.
The worst part of it all is that there doesn’t seem an end in sight to the colder-than-normal temperatures.
“I really wish I had better news,” Coulson said.
“But the models are coming into agreement that the second half of February much of the month of March is expected to be colder than normal.”
But colder-than-normal just means anything below the norm, so it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll continue to be the bonechilling cold we’re going to endure over the next few days.
“Stay warm and embrace winter,” Coulson said. “Because it doesn’t look like we’re looking at a significant change any time in the near future.”