A powerful winter storm hits millions of people south of the border this weekend with snow, ice and rain. It will continue to track the northeast Saturday and Sunday as millions of people in central and eastern Canada prepare for significant snow and travel impacts early next week. Special weather reports are already in effect in southern and eastern Ontario, with snowfall moving across parts of the first country Sunday night. While there is still some uncertainty about the exact track, the storm will still bring significant snowfall. As of now, southeastern Ontario and the Niagara region are the hardest hit areas – with potential totals of 12+ inches. Meanwhile, travel Monday morning will be dangerous and nearly impossible on major routes, including the QEW, Highways 427 and 401 and the Don Valley Parkway. Below more about the approaching winter storm and beyond.
SUNDAY NIGHT/MONDAY: SNOW BEATS, SPREADS NORTH AND EAST, EXPECT TRAVEL IMPACTS
The powerful winter storm will move northeastward late Sunday and begin to hit parts of Southern Ontario.
Snowfall begins in the nighttime hours for the Niagara region and the extreme southern areas of Southern Ontario — along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It will continue to spread in the Golden Horseshoe overnight through early Monday morning.
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Major travel impacts can be expected through the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), particularly along the QEW, and highways 427 and 401.
In addition to the Niagara region, areas in southeastern Ontario, along the 401 corridor toward Kingston and extending as far as the Ottawa Valley, are likely to be hardest hit by 12+ inches of snow.
Interesting note: This setup, tracking, and positioning of the storm may allow downtown Toronto to receive more snow than areas further inland, such as Pearson International Airport.
“We want to emphasize that there will be an extremely tight snowfall gradient through the GTA. A sharp decline in snow accumulations is expected on the western side,” said Jessie Uppal, a meteorologist with The Weather Network.
In the Toronto area, for example, 10-20cm of snow is likely to fall, but closer to the lake shore it could be 20cm and slightly inland 10cm.
In southern Ontario, things are significantly more difficult. The western edge of this storm will see a sharp limit to total snowfall. A short drive from west to east could see a huge change in driving conditions, from barely any snow in the west to completely covered roads in the east.
The good news is that this will be a fast-moving system, easing from west to east by Monday evening. However, it has the potential to drop significant amounts of snow in a short period of time. Very impressive snowfall rates are expected with this storm.
TUESDAY AND BEYOND: THE WINTER PATTERN CONTINUES
The rest of next week is looking rather wintry with temperatures close to the season or on the colder side of the season.
A clipper is expected Tuesday night and Wednesday, followed by another shot of Arctic air for Thursday and Friday. This wintry pattern is expected to continue through the last week of January with a few more bursts of frigid weather.
Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest Ontario weather forecast.