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Winter is back: Temperatures drop, winds pick up in southern Ontario


Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7:22 AM - It was looking and feeling a lot more like spring across southern Ontario over the past couple of days, but now reality has sunk back in as winter makes a rapid comeback

Peak wind gusts early Thursday

Peak wind gusts early Thursday

Residents in southern Ontario are trading in their shorts and t-shirts for winter coats and snow shovels. After two days of mild and even record breaking temperatures, winter has made a comeback across the region once again. "We had a series of Colorado Lows move through southern Ontario and what a lot of people are really taking note of is that we went from spring like temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday to then cold temperatures on Thursday with windchills into the minus double digits," says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. Officials are warning residents that untreated roads, sidewalks and driveways will become slippery as temperatures fall below the freezing mark. In addition to the plunging temperatures, strong winds are forecast through the day on Thursday. "Winds began to steadily increase on Wednesday with peak gusts over 80 km/h recorded by the early morning hours on Thursday," says Gerald Cheng, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. Gusts in the Niagara and Sandbanks regions could reach 100 km/h on Thursday, prompting Environment Canada to issue a wind warning for the area.

"Once the front moves through and the winds change to a west or northwest direction, snow squalls will develop off Lake Huron and Georgian Bay," says Vettese. "Snowfall amounts are highly variable within snow squalls, but models are suggesting 10-15 cm through Thursday in the heaviest squalls. These squalls may continue into Friday as well." Reduced visibilities will be a concern with squalls and gusty winds, so motorists should adjust their driving habits accordingly. "It was pouring rain with thunderstorms just a few days ago and now we've got snow squalls, snow falling, strong winds and chilly conditions. Winter is definitely back," adds Vettese.

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