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Snow slows Tuesday commute in parts of Ontario, temperatures on the rise this week

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 11:26 AM -

After enjoying a long Family Day weekend, drivers in Ontario were greeted with yet another blast of snow for the Tuesday morning commute.

10 cm of snow was recorded in parts of southwestern Ontario by 8 am, while the City of Toronto picked up closer to 5 cm.

Still, that was enough to result in dangerous conditions on the roads as city crews worked to clear main highways and roads.

Before 5 am, Environment Canada ended the special weather statement regarding the snow for southern Ontario, but eastern parts of the province were then added to the statement.

"A disturbance over southwestern Ontario will continue to spread snow to the regions this morning," said EC in the statement. "In general total snowfall amounts of 5 cm are expected."

It's the gusty winds however, that could give blowing snow at times and result in brief periods of near whiteout conditions in eastern Ontario.

Travelers are being urged to allow for plenty of extra time due to poor road conditions and reduced visibilities.


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GO Transit warned commuters to expect some delays, and those with air travel plans were also encouraged to check ahead for the status of their flight.

"Due to snowfall in the Toronto area we are experiencing some flight delays," tweeted Toronto Pearson Tuesday morning. "US east coast airports are also being affected by the storm."

The snow and gusty winds also resulted in some school bus cancellations, with reports of some school closures as well. 

WARM UP ON THE WAY

"The snow will clear out of the GTA by the morning hours and from eastern Ontario through the afternoon," says Weather Network meteorologist Matt Grinter. "A cold front will pass through Ontario overnight into Wednesday morning bringing very light snow and possible mixing for London and south."

According to Grinter, the next system to watch will be Thursday afternoon into Friday.

"The system for late Thursday into Friday will bring in a lot of mild air and there is a chance that this could bring all rain for southern Ontario instead of snow," adds Monica Vaswani, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.

If Toronto reaches the forecast high of 3°C on Wednesday, it will be first time that city has seen temperatures rise above 2°C since January 14, the last day of #Wintermission.

After a colder than normal winter many Ontarians may be looking forward to the warm-up this week, but officials warn the milder air could increase the risk for floods.

Conservation authorities in southwestern Ontario's Essex County say they're monitoring the watershed to prevent ice jams that would impede the flow of rivers.

They say ice in some waterways could be frozen right down to the sandbars, making it difficult for ice break up and movement on the rivers.

Heavy snow on many roadways is also a concern as many drains are blocked by the snow.

IS WINTER OVER?

As we see temperatures climb above seasonal values this week, we can't help but ask: Is the warmer weather the light at the end of the tunnel?

"Well, temperatures are set to take a bit of a dive in southern Ontario," warns Weather Network meteorologist Patrick Cool. "As meteorologists, we can have a look at what very long range computer forecast models are predicting for the next month as a whole...The pattern of colder than normal temperatures appears to continue. We won’t be able to put away our thick winter coats for some time."


FOLLOW ACTIVE WEATHER: Visit the Alerts section of the website


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