Special weather statements issued for southern, northern Ontario as region climbs out of deep freeze
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 5:38 PM -
On Thursday afternoon, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement covering a large part of southern and northern Ontario.
Major cities -- like Toronto, London, Windsor, Barrie, Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie -- are included.
A low pressure system will make its way into southern Ontario Friday evening, creating widespread fog and areas of freezing drizzle.
This will change over to rain late Friday evening, bringing between 10 and 20 mm -- with locally higher amounts -- before the system dissipates on Saturday.
Periods of light snow is also possible across southern Ontario, including the GTA, early Friday morning as the warm air arrives aloft.
"We'll see 1-3 cm for the GTA with 2-4 cm closer to Lake Erie," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham.
Despite the improving conditions, police are reminding motorists to use caution as snowbanks have risen significantly on many roadsides due to the recent storms.
In northeastern Ontario, the system is expected to begin as snow Friday evening.
"The precipitation is then expected to transition to rain for most areas south of a line from Montreal River to Timmins Saturday afternoon," EC says in a statement. "During this transition, there is a risk of freezing rain."
Canadians across the country are preparing for a warm up, with some communities expecting double-digit highs this weekend. That's after bitterly cold temperatures and intense snow squalls resulted in travel chaos for much of the week.
Still, the impending rain has raised flooding concerns, particularly in cottage country.
The Ministry of Natural Resources is advising residents to keep a close eye on local forecasts, as the forecasted rainfall, combined with snow melt, could result in elevated water levels in streams and rivers.
"Ice jam flooding will be a concern," Gillham says.
Next week, "we'll continue to see mild conditions for the region on Sunday and Monday, but we'll then step back into a more typical January pattern for the rest of the week (typical rather than extreme temperatures swings) with the potential for a return to well below seasonal by next weekend and/or beyond," Gillham says.
The normal daytime high for this time of year is around -2°C.