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Dangerous driving: Snow, gusty winds to produce blizzard-like conditions in southern Ontario this weekend

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Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Friday, January 24, 2014, 7:45 -


ACTIVE WEATHER WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for continued coverage on the weekend weather.


A wind chill warning was issued in southern Ontario early Friday, warning of wind chill values in the -30 to -35 range -- and for the thirteenth time this winter, the city of Toronto issued an extreme cold weather alert.

The threat of wind chills colder than -30 will end Friday with temperatures expected to be significantly warmer on Saturday, says Environment Canada in a statement.

Snow and blowing snow however, could result in a treacherous commute through Friday night.

Frigid temperatures, strong winds and blizzard-like conditions have been reported across the region and the blowing snow contributed to several car crashes Friday.

The weekend weather comes courtesy of two surface lows pushing into southern Ontario.

FIRST LOW

Snow moved across southern Ontario early Friday afternoon, reaching the Greater Toronto Area by the evening.

General snowfall amounts with this system are only expected to be near 5-10 cm with slightly higher amounts in a few locales.

Very strong and gusty winds will be the main concern.

"Strong southerly winds increased through the day on Friday with gusts 60-80 km/h across southern Ontario and continuing overnight into Saturday," says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Gusts could reach 100 km/h across the southern Great Lakes and thus along shorelines."

The combination of falling snow and strong winds have contributed to poor travel conditions, especially on open land or stretches of highway vulnerable to blowing snow.

"The blowing snow may not be as impactful in the core of larger cities that tend to be sheltered by buildings," Vettese adds.

Heaviest snowfall rates are expected during the overnight hours on Friday into Saturday morning.

Environment Canada issued a blowing snow warning for some places urging motorists to exercise cautions as visibilities in exposed areas may be near zero at times. 

SECOND LOW

More snow is expected to move in on Sunday afternoon, continuing through the overnight into early Monday morning.

"Winds will be gusting 40-60 km/h, with generally about 5 cm likely across southern Ontario," says Vettese. "The GTA should see about 2-4 cm of snow."


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