Wednesday, March 9th 2022, 8:45 pm - A potent storm tracking towards Ontario and Quebec this weekend looks to bring a swath of heavy snow, with the highest amounts confined to eastern sections of both provinces.
The eastern half of Canada is in for a stormy start to the March break, with a powerful storm setting Ontario and Quebec in its sights first on Friday night and Saturday. Most of southern Ontario including the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is likely to be spared the worst of the effects, but eastern sections of the province and southern Quebec is a different story. Areas along the St. Lawrence River are anticipated to see anywhere from 10-30+ cm of snow, with eastern Quebec bearing the brunt of the heaviest totals. More on the timing and forecast details we know so far, below.
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KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON A WEEKEND STORM SYSTEM THAT COULD DETOUR MARCH BREAK TRAVEL PLANS
A major winter storm is on tap for much of Eastern Canada this weekend, a late-season system that may significantly impact or delay the start to March break for many.
An initial system will track south of Ontario on Friday, bringing widespread light snow across the region during the day. The main system, however, will quickly engulf that low bringing the heaviest snowfall amounts Friday night into Saturday. The effects in Quebec could potentially linger in into Sunday morning for eastern areas.
This main low will be tracking well south of the border, even on the east side of the Appalachian Mountains and along the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. The system is a bit more complex than usual and changes to the forecast may happen over the coming days as a result.
"The track of the storm is starting to become more clear and the low looks to move east of the Appalachian Mountains versus the west side," says Matt Grinter, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "This track helps to show that the heaviest swath of snow will be more focused in parts of eastern Ontario and across southern Quebec, east of the St. Lawrence River."
According to Grinter, the snow looks to be at its heaviest through the day on Saturday before departing the area by Sunday morning.
Along with the snow, strong winds will develop through Saturday afternoon, creating whiteout conditions and difficult travel through that time.
"What we will have to keep an eye on is a slight shift in the track of the low," Grinter adds. "A slight shift west could bring higher amounts of snow through the Niagara region, as well for areas along the St. Lawrence River."
While the heaviest snowfall amounts currently look to avoid much of the GTA, there is still the potential to see a shift in the track of the low and that would mean an adjustment in snowfall totals. As of now, the GTA may get 5-10 cm, with higher amounts for eastern sections of Ontario.
In Quebec, 15-25 cm is possible for Montreal but there is the potential for higher amounts with the sharp gradient over the St. Lawrence River. The Eastern Townships and Gaspé Peninsula could very well end up with 20-30+ cm of snow by the time the low departs. Be sure to continue to check back for updates on this storm system.
Regardless, blustery and cold conditions, with 50-70 km/h wind gusts, will stir up some lake-effect snow in behind the system Saturday evening through Sunday for parts of southern Ontario.
The cold pattern then looks to break down much faster than initially expected, with milder weather attempting to surge north into the region through the March Break.
Check back for the latest weather updates across southern Ontario and Quebec.