Toronto could soon be under a deep freeze as a system threatens to bring temperatures colder than -30ºC to Southern Ontario.
The forecast for early February comes as Toronto braces for what promises to be a historic snowstorm, and extremely frigid temperatures forecast for the following week could complicate cleanup efforts.
David Piano, an Ingersoll, Ontario-based extreme weather chaser, shared a graphic forecasting bitter cold to descend over the region by February 2 with temperatures as low as the mid-negative-30s in both Fahrenheit and Celsius (the two metrics reach equilibrium in this extreme range).
GFS advertising record cold temps on the morning of Groundhog Day, perhaps dropping below -30C for a large chunk of S ON and perhaps below -40C for cottage country and north. The groundhogs may just throw in the towel and not even emerge this year… #ONwx #GroundhogDay pic.twitter.com/22zGPwLyyK
— David Piano (@ONwxchaser) January 24, 2023
Readings from the US Global Forecast System (GFS) indicate that it could be even colder in areas north of the Toronto region, including Ontario’s cottage country. Measurements on the graphic drop as low as -42ºF for parts of cottage country, equal to just under -41ºC.
For reference, the latest temperature readings from the Curiosity Rover measured on Mars’ Gale Crater saw a January 18 high of -9ºC and a low of -75ºC.
So yeah, there could be points during this cold system where Toronto and the surrounding region will indeed be colder than the surface of Mars.
As terrifying as this prediction is, different meteorologists are saying different things about this coming Groundhog Day, and some don’t think the coming cold weather will be as bad as this one forecast suggests.
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The Weather Network is only predicting a low of -15ºC for February 2, while Accuweather’s forecast only calls for a low of -10ºC, a discrepancy that has to do with the GFS model’s tendency to run colder than official forecasts.
This was the case in early 2019 when a similar arctic blast descended over Lake Michigan, and GFS-model predictions called for significantly lower air temperatures than predictions using the standard ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) model.
Regardless of which weather model you listen to, it’s going to be a freezing Groundhog Day with temperatures low enough to cause frostbite to exposed skin and likely cold weather alerts across Ontario.