Looks like Old Man Winter is giving the Family Day long weekend the cold shoulder.
In addition to a snow squall watch issued Friday morning, an extreme cold warning is also in effect for much of southern Ontario while the local health unit has issued a cold weather alert.
The AM980-Gerrie Electric Supply Storm Centre is monitoring the forecast and AM980 will have live traffic and weather updates every 10 minutes during your morning and afternoon drive at :02, :12, :22, :32, :42, and :52 minutes past the hour.
Upwards of 10 cm of snow could fall between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, with another 10 to 15 cm possible throughout the day Saturday.
“Around the airport area there’s been around 20-25 cm at least according to our automatic station out there,” Environment Canada Severe Weather Meteorologist Arnold Ashton tells AM980.
“We’ve had other reports across the region, near or not far from London of 30 to locally 40 cm so it’s been very significant. It’s been a real slap in the face of winter. It’s been a long time coming but eventually it was bound to happen.”
The national weather agency’s extreme cold warning was issued as the forecast calls for temperatures to plummet to -20 overnight Friday, with the wind chill making it feel like -30C.
“Family Day weekend last year was bone-breakingly cold as well,” Ashton adds, “so it’s almost a similar kind of pattern actually.”
The Middlesex London Health Unit has also issued a cold weather alert which will officially come into effect Friday evening when the temperature drops to -15 and will stay in place until Sunday when the temperature should reach -10.
Public Health Inspector with the Environmental Health Team at the Middlesex London Health Unit is urging Londoners to look out for each other.
“The general population we advise obviously to stay warm, dress appropriately. But we are really encouraging the population at large to look out for those that are less able to fend for themselves in that regard; the children, the elderly, people that may not have resource to get in out of the cold.”
The Health Unit is also reminding the public to watch out for symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite occurs in skin overexposed to the cold, with skin turning red, blue or a gray-white. Those with frostbite may also notice pain, numbness, and stiffness. Hypothermia is a result of body temperature dropping below normal and can result in pale skin, lethargy, confusion, and even hallucinations.
On Thursday, the Salvation Army reported it is ready to do its part in helping London’s most vulnerable in the frigid conditions. Londoners looking to help can donate extra coats, hats, boots, mittens, non-perishable foods, blankets, and sleeping bags to the Men’s Mission at 459 York Street, the Centre of Hope at 281 Wellington Street, or the Unity Project at 717 Dundas Street.
While the weekend will be frigid and snowy, Family Day itself will feel almost balmy, with a high of -1C.
With files from Jess Brady and Natalie Lovie.