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Scattered power outages in Toronto as intense cold front sweeps across GTA

Toronto Hydro is reporting scattered power outages across the city as an intense cold front moves across Southern Ontario on Wednesday afternoon, bringing high winds and a sharp drop in temperature. 

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the utility attributed the outages to windy conditions. The outages are in the areas of Junction Wallace-Emerson, Etobicoke West Mall and Markland Woods, according to its outage map.

Thousands of customers were affected as of 3 p.m.

According to Environment Canada, the cold front is expected to cause temperatures to plummet from a high of 13 C earlier in the day to  -2 C.

Along with the dramatic temperature swing, the forecast calls for sustained winds of 40 km/h through the afternoon and evening, with some gusts reaching up to 70 km/h.

The federal weather agency says the weather could lead to sudden icy conditions in the GTA.

Prepare for tricky road conditions

“We are essentially going to be going from spring-like conditions to the thrusts of winter, where we should be this time of year,” said Brad Rousseau, a meteorologist at Environment Canada.

The plunge in temperature was forecast to be preceded by rain showers. The rain was forecast to change to ice pellets or flurries later in the afternoon.

“The sudden temperature drop may lead to icy surfaces as temperatures fall below the freezing mark through the day. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions,” Environment Canada said in a special weather statement for the GTA.

With the balmy temperatures on Wednesday morning, some locals were out enjoying the weather. 

Natalya Telenchenko has lived in Canada for 40 years and said she has never seen weather this warm in February before. 

Though the higher temperatures are better for her dogs, Telenchenko said she hasn’t participated in many winter sports this year.

“I’m a little bit concerned why it’s so warm in February,” she said. “But I’ll take it.” 

A woman outside in a grey hoodie holds a small white dog.
Though warmer temperatures are good for her dogs, Toronto local Natalya Telenchenko says the mild winter this year has been a little concerning. (Prasanjeet Choudhury/CBC)

For musician Ruslan Nebesov, the warm weather is a hopeful sign that spring is coming soon. 

“Warm is better than cold, in my opinion,” Nebesov said.

Meanwhile, lake effect snow is expected to develop off Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. 

That means some areas in the northern stretches of the GTA could see blasts of snowfall of up to two centimetres, Rousseau said.

The temperature is forecast to fall -5 C by tonight, though it will feel more like -13 with the wind chill.

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