Toronto could be on track for its second-coldest winter in 25 years, CityNews meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai said, depending on what temperatures do between now and the end of February.
Environment Canada measures the winter season from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, Ramsahai explained.
If the rest of January remains below seasonal, and February is close to its average temperature, Toronto will have a mean winter temperature of -6C, making this one of the coldest winters this city has had in a quarter of a century.
The average winter mean temperature is -4.1 C.
The coldest winter in the past 25 years is the 1993-1994 season when the mean temperature was -7.8 C.
However, since Environment Canada began keeping winter records in Toronto – in the 1937-38 season – this season may not even rank in the top 10 coldest winters.
The coldest winter on record for Toronto was 1976-77, which saw a mean temperature of -8.4C.
It’s still cold on Wednesday, with an extreme cold alert first issued by the city on Monday still in effect.
There was a brief period Wednesday morning when wind chill values were -30 or more, 680News meteorologist Jill Taylor said.
According to Ramsahai, Wednesday’s forecast calls for increasing cloud and a high of -15 C, but it will feel near -20. It will be cloudy Wednesday night with the possibility of two centimetres of snow starting near midnight. The low is -16 C, but it will feel near -22 with the wind. That low is about five degrees below average.
The weather also resulted in school bus cancellations and school and class closures. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said classes at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts will be cancelled due to a power outage.
Due to continuing power outage at Rosedale Heights SOA classes are cancelled for rest of the day. Crews continue to work on resolving issue.
— Toronto DSB (@tdsb) January 22, 2014
The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board cancelled school buses in Dufferin County. Transit-reliant schools in the Upper Grand District School Board, including Eramosa Public, Central Peel, Kenilworth Public, Maryborough Public, Laurelwoods and Primrose Elementary, were also closed.
Click here for a full list of bus cancellations.
The Toronto Catholic District School Board warned of delays on some routes, but said that buses were running.
For those catching a flight, Air Canada, WestJet and Porter Airlines have issued travel advisories for Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Also, a blizzard warning is in effect for much of Atlantic Canada, which is bracing for up to 30 centimeters of snow. So far, more than 100 flights have been cancelled at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, but most of those have to do with the storm in the U.S. Click here to check your flight.
The Ontario Provincial Police is also warning drivers to dress appropriately for the cold weather should you get stranded. The TTC said customers could experience longer than normal wait times for streetcars due to the cold.
Dress for this very cold winter weather even though you will be in your car–if you become stranded, you will be that much more prepared.
— Ontario Prov Police (@OPP_GTATraffic) January 22, 2014
Longer than normal wait times on all streetcar routes with equipment problems due to extreme cold weather. #TTC
— Official TTC Tweets (@TTCnotices) January 22, 2014