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Ontario: Poorly timed snow threatens 10 cm for morning drive

Friday, December 6th 2019, 10:30 am - A widespread winter weather travel advisory is in effect for this morning.

Patience is needed for Friday morning's commute across southern Ontario as a poorly timed swath of snow threatens up to 10 cm in just a few hours. A winter weather travel advisory is in effect for parts of the Greater Toronto Area. More on the timing of this shot of snow and the lake-effect squalls that follow through Friday, plus a look at a nice temperature boost before another incoming system, below.


WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Friday morning snow to have a significant impact on commute times in the GTA
  • Bands of lake-effect snow develop southeast of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay Friday afternoon
  • Sunny and milder Sunday, making for the best chance to put up Christmas lights or decorations
  • Stay up-to-date on the ALERTS in your area

FRIDAY MORNING -- POOR TIMING FOR WIDESPREAD SNOW

A potent clipper system spread snow into the pre-dawn hours on Friday, making for a poorly timed wet snow event for the morning commute in the GTA.

A widespread 5-10 cm of snow is expected with this system, which wasn't enough to close schools or pull buses from the roads, but could slick up the conditions, especially while falling at a rate of 1-2 cm per hour. Ontairo police are warning drivers to use extra caution, though the number of collisions have been relatively low. According to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, less than 10 crashes were reported from Niagara to Barrie before 8:30 a.m.

"Most of this snow will fall in just a few hours between 5 and 10 a.m. and that could impact the commute as road crews may struggle to keep up amid heavy traffic and the quickly falling snow," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham.

ON Snow (4)

Snow totals will decrease towards Hamilton and across the Niagara region, where the snow is set to mix with or change to rain. Between Burlington and Oakville, snow totals could come up short if temperatures are a degree or so warmer than expected.

Environment Canada has issued a winter weather travel advisory from Kingston to Burlington, and north to Orangeville and Peterborough, cautioning that visibility will be low at times due to heavy snow during the Friday morning commute.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON -- LAKE-EFFECT SNOW SQUALLS PICK UP

The widespread snow will lose its intensity through Friday afternoon, diminishing to scattered flurries across the GTA, and having much less of an impact for the afternoon commute home.

Daytime high temperatures on Friday will also occur earlier in the day, falling steadily by the afternoon hours with a gusty wind expected. That will fire up another round of lake-effect snow for areas southeast of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, where a snow squall watch has been issued.

"Under the heaviest snow squalls, visibilities will be significantly reduced and snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 cm will be possible," EC warns. "Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.

LOOK AHEAD -- SUNDAY THE BEST DAY FOR OUTDOOR DECORATING

Conditions improve with sunny and near seasonal weather by Saturday, but Sunday looks like the ideal travel or shopping day of the weekend as temperatures get a boost ahead of the next incoming system.

"If you still plan to put up lights for Christmas, this is your day to do so," says Gillham.

Icons OntarioGTA1 Day3

That's ahead of another significant Colorado low for the start of next week, though at this point, it looks like it will bring primarily rain and milder temperatures to the region. A strong cold front will then send temperatures tumbling by Tuesday, however, with more heavy bands of lake-effect snow expected in the snowbelt regions.

THESE WEATHER HACKS WILL GET YOU THROUGH THE NEXT FEW DAYS, ONTARIO

FROM THE MET DESK

As for December overall, "changeable" will be the best way to describe the pattern shaping up in the coming weeks.

"But changeable patterns are often active patterns, and we expect that this December will have more winter storms than we saw last December," says Gillham.

Read more on the 'wild card' month of December, here

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