Blowing snow creates dangerous driving, bus cancellations in southern Ontario
Monday, January 27, 2014, 7:59 AM -
After a weekend of brutal blowing snow and strong winds that left hundreds of people stranded on the province's highways, more snow, blowing snow and frigid temperatures are impacting the start of the work week for several Ontarians.
Snow squall warnings were issued for parts of southern Ontario early Monday with Environment Canada warning of intense squalls off of Lake Huron.
"Visibilities in heavy snow may be suddenly reduced to near zero making for hazardous driving conditions," EC said. "Local snowfall amounts in excess of 10 centimetres are likely today."
School buses were cancelled in a number of areas Monday morning due to the dangerous driving conditions.
Air Canada also issued a travel alert at Toronto's Pearson airport, warning that flights may be delayed or cancelled.
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Close to 30 cancellations were reported Monday morning.
In the wake of a cold front, falling temperatures and winds gusting to 50 km/h will generate wind chill values near -30 Monday morning and continuing through Tuesday in some places.
Widespread wind chill warnings have been issued across the province.
"Temperatures remain well below seasonal through the rest of the week and well into February," said Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham.
The normal temperature for this time of year is -2°C, with a low of -10°C
The wind is expected to become more westerly Monday and the snow squalls should lift north of Huron-Perth, Wellington and possibly Dufferin County, but continue for regions farther north, EC adds.
Saturday was a brutal day for driving
Strong winds and snow made for terrible conditions all across the province's major southern Highways.
Highway 401 was closed in several locations from Friday through to Saturday, part of more than 60 highway closures through the same period.
The Ontario Provincial Police reported more than 1,600 collisions, including three that were fatal. Eight OPP cruisers were also struck.
Northeast of Toronto, white-out conditions stranded more than 400 people in their vehicles. The occupants were rescued and taken to emergency shelters in Orangeville and other nearby communities.
Although snow amounts were not as much as the major storms that have lashed the province over the last couple of months, the stiff winds made it seem much worse for drivers.
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