Cold alert renewed in Hamilton as temperatures set to plunge


Published January 19, 2024 at 12:00 pm

Hamilton has reinstituted its cold weather alert with temperatures expected to drop tonight.

The city Health officer Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, announces a cold alert anytime temperatures are expected to fall below -15 degrees, or -20 with the wind chill. These alerts remain in effect until the city announces a cancellation order.

Richardson released an alert on Jan. 19. “Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health. Wind always makes it feel colder, and increases the risk of frostbite and hypothermia. During extreme cold weather conditions, please call, visit, or check on vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours,” Hamilton wrote. The last such cold alert was issued on Jan. 14

Hamilton Recreation Centres and Hamilton Public Library branches are available as warming spaces as part of the city’s winter response. The open hours of these facilities have been extended until March. Hamilton has also invested in 180 shelter drop-in and warming spaces for unhoused residents. The city also rolled out a warming bus with space for 20 people. These services are independent of the cold alert system and are available regardless of temperature.

When the city issued the cold alert it was around -8 degrees with a wind chill near minus -15. Tonight temperatures will fall to roughly -14, by morning the wind chill will feel closer to -20.

Hamilton advised residents;

  • Dress in layers of clothing. Keep inner layers dry. Wet clothing increases the risk of cold injury.
  • Protect your face, ears and hands with a scarf, hat, and gloves.
  • To protect your feet, socks must be dry. Wool is a good material to keep your feet dry.
  • Drink warm fluids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise.
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