toronto weather

Freezing rain expected in Toronto on New Year's Day

It's pretty much a given that New Year's Eve will be quieter than usual in Toronto this year, what with a province-wide lockdown mandating the continued closures of bars, restaurants, theatres and indoor event spaces of all kinds.

Whether chilling at home or literally chilling your bones at a socially-distanced outdoor gathering with less than 10 other people, it's going to be a departure from the party-heavy NYEs we've become used to in Canada's largest city.

New Year's Day, on the other hand, will be much like any other January 1, when stores and attractions are usually closed to the public anyway.

Sadly, however, you won't likely have the option of going for a pretty winter walk or hitting the ski hills this year (even if the province were to allow such a thing) thanks to Public Enemy No. 2: Old Man Winter.

Just as the system behind some intense lake-effect flurries on Monday leaves Southern Ontario, a new storm is threatening to wreak havoc on the rest of our week — and New Year's Day could be the hardest hit.

A Texas low will start making its way across the province on Wednesday, according to The Weather Network, bringing with it rain, snow, and eventually (potentially) a whack of freezing rain.

"A second stateside system will develop and trek in for New Year's Day, bringing a freezing rain potential for southern Ontario," reads an update from The Weather Network published Monday night.

"With Arctic air to the north and temperatures plummeting, there will be the possibility of ice with the Friday low."

Nothing is for certain, but both the Weather Network and Environment Canada are calling for rain or snow on Friday.

Meteorologists for the former say we can expect between 10 and 15 mm of precipitation to fall in Toronto on Friday, which at present boasts an 80 per cent probability of precipitation.

Not great weather for an outdoor adventure by any means, but it'll at least be warmer on New Year's Day 2021 than it'll be on New Year's Eve of 2020.

Both days are expected to see daytime highs of 2 C, according to the Weather Network, but temperatures could drop down to less than -4 C overnight on Thursday.

Prefer to stay warm, dry and safe? Here are some fun virtual NYE events you can participate in locally (or from abroad, for that matter) as 2020 steps aside for what will hopefully be a better year to come.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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