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Extreme cold weather, snow squalls gradually ease across Ontario, road and air travel still impacted

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Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 11:46 AM -

A bitterly cold Arctic airmass has gripped much of Ontario, resulting in major travel complications across the province.

Several communities hit new record low temperatures on Tuesday, including places like Windsor, Sarnia, London and Hamilton.

Wind chill values ranging from -30 to -45 were also recorded, setting new all time records in Kitchener and London.

Environment Canada lifted the widespread wind chill warnings across the GTA early Wednesday, a sign that some relief from the dangerous deep freeze is on the way.

While conditions will gradually improve, officials at Toronto's Pearson International Airport are reminding travelers to contact their airline for the status of their flights.

Nearly half of the departures were cancelled on Tuesday, due to weather-related problems such as frozen equipment.

A rare ground stop was put into place, meaning aircraft were not being permitted to land. The ground stop immediately created a backlog of planes waiting for gates to open to off-load passengers. Long lineups were also reported inside the terminals.

Airlines are still working to get aircraft in place to resume their normal schedules.

SNOW SQUALLS CONTINUE

Police are also reminding motorists to check the roads before heading out as dangerous conditions have prompted numerous closures in southern and central Ontario.

Unscheduled road closures and events for provincial highways:
Information updated as of 4:21 p.m ET

  • *Highway 21 - Road Closure
  • *Highway 401 - Road Closure
  • 401 Eastbound Collector(s) [ ALLEN ROAD - ] - Collision
  • HWY 101 Eastbound [ YOUNG ST(7072)(S)FOLYET TWP - ] - Other
  • HWY 4 Both Directions [ Dinsley Terrace - Huron Street ] - Weather
  • HWY 401 Westbound [ Highway 6 North / Hanlon Expressway - ] - Collision
  • HWY 6 Both Directions [ Red Bay Road / Mar Sideroad - Big Tub Road / Front Street ] - Weather
  • HWY 8 Both Directions [ Orchard Line - Napier Street ] - Weather

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Flurries and local snow squalls will continue to be generated in the westerly flow off Lake Huron and Georgian Bay on Wednesday.

"Near zero visibilities in snow and blowing snow can be expected, especially under the most intense bands which are coming onshore between Mactier and Bayfield Inlet," said EC in the warning early Wednesday. "Further amounts of up to 15 cm are possible before the squalls begin to weaken this evening."

Motorists are being urged to prepare for dangerous winter driving conditions and adjust travel plans accordingly.

The poor weather conditions have also prompted several school bus cancellations across the region.

Conditions will continue to improve through the day on Wednesday and by the weekend, some places will even see temperatures rise above the freezing mark.

"A light at the end of the tunnel," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham. "We'll see an intermission to this winter weather pattern we've been experiencing. Not necessarily a full thaw ... but temperatures close to freezing will feel great."

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