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Frigid temperatures for first week of March

Last Updated Mar 4, 2019 at 6:52 am EST

Steam rises as people look out on Lake Ontario in front of the skyline during extreme cold weather in Toronto on Feb. 13, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Winter’s icy grip won’t let go, as well-below seasonal temperatures are expected this week in the GTA.

680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said the high on Monday is forecast to reach -6 C but it will feel more like -14 with the wind.

“The average high is 2 C — we’ll be below that for the highs this week,” Taylor said.

Environment Canada’s senior meteorologist Mark Schuster said the cold can be blamed on a dome of Arctic Air that’s been lingering over Ontario and it is not expected to go away anytime soon.

“Normally at this time of year we expect a daytime high of 3 C and a low of -6 C. We are going to 10-15 C colder than that — so considerably below normal but by no means record breaking,” he said.

Schuster said the record for early March are in the -20 C range.

On Sunday, Toronto’s medical officer of health issued an extreme cold weather alert ahead of the temperature plunge.

Extreme cold weather alerts are issued when temperatures are estimated to reach -15 C or colder or when the windchill is forecast to hit -20 or colder.

The extreme cold weather alert also activates a number of local services, such as opening up warming centres and assisting in getting some of the city’s most vulnerable people off the street.