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GTA braces for bitter cold, blowing snow this weekend

A person makes their way to a streetcar as snow flies through the air during a squall in downtown Toronto on Dec. 15, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)

A special weather statement is in effect for Toronto and parts of the GTA calling for snow and bitterly cold temperatures this weekend.

“Much of Southern Ontario will be on the northern fringe of a major winter storm tracking south of the Great Lakes this weekend,” Environment Canada said in its statement, which was issued on Thursday.

Two areas of the GTA — Oakville and Burlington — are under a winter storm watch as “winter storm conditions possible Saturday.”

Although some snow fell in the GTA on Friday, the brunt of winter weather will hit the region starting Saturday and taper off by nightfall.

The national weather agency said the accumulation will be around 5-10 centimetres near Lake Ontario and up to five centimetres north of Highway 7.

There is also the risk of blowing snow with the winds gusting to 50 km/h. The strong wind will result in windchill values between -20 and -30.

680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said the snow will start late Saturday morning with around 8-10 centimetres for Toronto.

Burlington and Oakville could get up to 15 centimetres of snow, while more than 15 centimetres is possible for Hamilton and the Niagara area. Hamilton and Niagara are under a winter storm warning.

In the GTA, the high will be near -10 C but it will feel like -20 C to -25 C with the wind.

CityNews weather specialist Frank Ferragine said the snow will start in the GTA mid-morning and stick around until early Sunday.

Taylor said cold and windy conditions, along with blowing snow, will continue into Sunday. The high on that day will be near -15 C with a teeth-chattering windchill near -30.

Environment Canada said the extreme cold is expected to continue into Monday morning. If you think the cold winds will be unbearable this weekend, Taylor said the windchill for Monday will be near -35. Brrrr ….