Following massive snowfall, Toronto braces for deep freeze
Following a record-breaking snowfall that wreaked havoc on Toronto roads, the area is bracing for a deep freeze that’s expected to last through the work week.
A polar vortex that has already blanketed much of the Prairies with frigid conditions is creeping towards southern Ontario, where temperatures between -30 and -35 degrees Celsius are expected from Tuesday night until Friday, according to Environment Canada.
The federal weather agency has already issued extreme cold warnings for parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Quebec.
Atlantic Canada is not without its own weather problems either, as people that’ve dealt with recent flooding now face a flash freeze as the polar vortex slowly heads East.
David Spence, a CTV meteorologist in Calgary, said this year’s cold snap is bigger and harsher than what we’ve seen before.
“It's because the cold air this time around is deeper, it is moving a little bit more slowly and it’s lasting longer,” he told CTV News.
The freezing weather comesjust one day after southern Ontario was hit with a snowfall that began around noon and just didn’t stop.
By the day’s end, the snowfall recorded at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport had surpassed the single-day total for that date set in 2009 when 13.4 centimetres fell, according to Environment Canada.
Snowfall at the airport impacted those trying to escape the weather. As of Tuesday afternoon, authorities had cancelled 132 flights, roughly 15 per cent of all departures.
Although Monday’s dumping didn’t break the city’s all-time single-day record of 48 centimetres set on Dec. 11, 1944, it was more than enough to snarl traffic.
The steady snow – at times heavy – created dangerous road conditions with the Ontario Provincial Police saying there were nearly 400 collisions in the Greater Toronto Area since the snowfall began.
Tuesday’s morning commute wasn’t much of an improvement, either, with a number of delays, including a tanker truck rollover on the westbound Hwy. 401 in Whitby, Ont. that caused a significant backup.
“It’s been very busy for us all across the GTA. There hasn’t been one specific area harder hit than others. It’s just been a mess really across the entire region,” Schmidt told CTV Toronto on Tuesday afternoon.
Toronto plows had already completed three rounds of clearing on the main roads by Tuesday morning and expected to have the side roads completed by Tuesday evening.