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First major snowstorm of the season to hit eastern Ontario, Quebec

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Dayna Vettese
Meteorologist

Wednesday, November 27, 2013, 6:03 AM -


TUNE IN: We continue to track this major storm as it approaches. Check in for regular TV updates.


A storm system has its sights set on eastern Canada and will bring with it heavy snow, heavy rain and gusty winds. Storms like this one at this time of year are notoriously tricky to forecast, given the temperature contrasts and the tendency for messy mixes of rain and snow.

Precipitation will move into the Niagara Peninsula and Greater Toronto Area beginning late Tuesday afternoon and continue through Wednesday morning. Areas east of Toronto will start to see the snow late Tuesday and it will continue to snow through Wednesday. The Tuesday evening commute will be impacted by the system but it doesn’t look like a lot of snow accumulation will occur by that point. Due to the temperatures hovering around zero and the fact that along the lake shores the snow will be more of a wet snow, not a lot of accumulation is expected in Toronto. Accumulations in Niagara region will be elevation dependent and variable depending on if you live up on the escarpment on down below. Anywhere from 5-15 cm could fall throughout Niagara region, again, depending on elevation.

If we now move east of Toronto toward Peterborough, Kingston and Ottawa, that’s where we’re talking about the potential for heavy snow. These areas could see 15-25 cm of snow by the time Wednesday night rolls around. The Wednesday morning commute for eastern Ontario will be a treacherous one.

As the storm continues on its path past Ontario, lake effect snow will pick up once again off of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay Wednesday afternoon and continue through Thursday morning. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re enjoying the snow), areas in and around London and also around Barrie and Blue Mountains will once again be hit with lake effect snow. The lake effect should be at its most intense Wednesday evening through Thursday morning.

NAM forecast model's solution for late Wednesday with lake effect snow developing off of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

NAM forecast model's solution for late Wednesday with lake effect snow developing off of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

Looking at Quebec, areas west and north of Montreal can expect heavy snow as well, again 15-25 cm, but the issue is Montreal itself. Montreal is sitting on the rain-snow line for this system meaning a change back and forth between precipitation types is not out of the question. This makes it harder to pin down just how much snow accumulation Montreal will see but nevertheless, the Wednesday morning commute will be a tricky one either way.

NAM forecast model's snowfall accumulation prediction at the 12Z run (in inches).

NAM forecast model's snowfall accumulation prediction at the 12Z run (in inches).

As the storm moves into Atlantic Canada overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, it may start briefly as snow in parts of New Brunswick, all rain in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. By the time Wednesday morning comes, the precipitation should be all rain and heavy rain at that. Parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia could pick up 30-60 mm of rain and winds will be gusting 70+ km/h comes Wednesday afternoon. The storm continues its trek north and rain will move into Newfoundland late-day Wednesday. The heaviest rain should stick to southwestern Newfoundland where 45-60 mm of rain is possible where eastern Newfoundland should only see about 15 mm.

Though this storm will be a nuisance for many of us, it will be especially troublesome for folks in the United States east coast states. American Thanksgiving is this Thursday, November 28 and all of this week is peak travel time for families. Though the majority of the coastal states will receive rain, the rain will be heavy enough to impact travel plans. Further inland from the Atlantic Ocean, snow will be falling which will most definitely have an impact on travel plans. Anyone travelling from Ontario or Quebec to the United States will also likely have their travel plans impacted.

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