The city issued an extreme cold weather alert Thursday, the third this year, as Environment Canada was predicting the coldest night in Toronto so far this winter season.

Temperatures were expected to plunge to –16C across the GTA, topping the –15.7C recorded on Dec. 29 when the first cold weather alert was issued. The windchill made it feel more like –20C to –25C.

Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson said cold Arctic air mass straight from Nuna­vut moved to Ontario, and predicts that although there will be plenty of sunshine through the weekend it will stay very cold, with a low of –14C on Monday.

Although there will be light flurries, Coulson doesn’t expect significant snowfall.

Thursday was the fifth time the city experienced severe cold weather this winter. Alerts are issued when Environment Canada predicts temperatures of –15C or lower, without wind chill.

The city issued alerts covering 27 nights of extreme cold weather in the 2008-09 winter season.

Adults and youth requiring a shelter bed should call the 24-hour line at 416-338-4766. Families needing emergency shelter should call the 24-hour line of Central Family Intake 416-397-5637.

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