Whiteout threat in southern Ontario this weekend, dangerous driving possible
Thursday, January 23, 2014, 1:19 -
SLICK THURSDAY MORNING COMMUTE
Motorists in southern Ontario were advised to use caution during the Thursday morning commute.
Environment Canada issued a snow squall warning for the St. Catharines, Grimsby and northern Niagara regions warning of up to 10 cm of snow with near zero visibilities.
Numerous collisions were reported through the morning hours including a serious incident in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
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KW area - Hwy 7/8 Conestoga Overpass collision & hearing of one vehicle hanging off the overpass. Very icy in the area #btt— Beat the Traffic (@BTT_GTA) January 23, 2014
According to Beat The Traffic, snow covered roads also slowed the commute on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) in St. Catharines.
"After moving onshore, this snow squall will begin to weaken and is expected to end by late morning," EC said. "Motorists should exercise caution as hazardous driving conditions are likely due to accumulating snow and near zero visibilities."
WEEKEND SNOW AND POOR DRIVING CONDITIONS
It will be a similar message for drivers in southern Ontario once again this weekend.
Between 5-10 cm of snow is expected in some places, with locally higher amounts possible.
While the snowfall amounts are not extreme, it will be the winds that increase the threat for whiteouts, especially over open areas.
The freshly fallen snow combined with strong winds could result in dangerous driving conditions and reduced visibilities.
"It's actually going to be the winds with this system," says Weather Network meteorologist Gina Ressler. "Winds and blowing snow will be the main concerns."
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Conditions are expected to deteriorate by Friday evening and overnight.
"Snow will increase and so will the winds," adds Ressler. "We could see sustained winds of 50 km/h, with gusts 80 to 90 km/h Friday night."
Drivers are being urged to adjust their travel plans accordingly and continue to monitor weather and road conditions.
The good news is temperatures are expected to warm up with a daytime high of -3°C expected Saturday.
MORE SNOW SUNDAY
Another surge of moisture could bring an additional 3-6 cm of snow to some areas on Sunday.
"So by Monday, it's safe to say much of the GTA will have picked up at least 10 cm of snow this weekend," adds Doug Gillham, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.