Tuesday, March 2nd 2021, 6:15 am - Intense snow squalls led to a multi-vehicle pileup and partial road closure on Highway 400 as they created hazardous whiteout conditions on Monday.
March certainly roared in like a lion in southern Ontario, with powerful winds and dangerous snow squalls blasting through the region Monday.
The resulting treacherous travel conditions led to collisions and highway closures including Highway 400 north of Toronto. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) closed a stretch of the highway in the northbound and southbound lanes near Barrie due to whiteout conditions that led to a crash involving 15 vehicles on Monday afternoon.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told CBC News that police and paramedics were on the scene, but there were no reports of serious injuries. The crash happened in the highway's southbound lanes.
The powerful snow squalls, which even seeped into the GTA briefly Monday evening, also led to blizzard conditions in the Grey-Bruce region. Potentially damaging wind gusts of 60-80+ km/h were forecasted, leading to "life-threatening travel conditions" as visibilities were near zero from the blowing snow.
As of Tuesday morning, all of the snow squall watches and warnings had been dropped, but some areas were threatened with local heavy snowfall amounts exceeding 20 cm, particularly in Grey-Bruce region. While Toronto and the GTA were briefly under snow squall warnings early Monday evening, minimal accumulations were forecast.
Despite the frigid overnight lows and wind chills into the -20s, conditions will gradually improve as the winds die down on Tuesday, however, travel could remain tricky in areas of blowing snow. By Wednesday, daytime highs will soar well above the freezing mark once again.
Below is a selection of visuals that made the rounds on social media during Monday's dangerous snow squall set-up:
Can't even get in my driveway! Just came home from a personal thing. Can't move. Drift up is up to 90cm on my driveway. Good thing it's fluffy and my father in law can plow through it pretty easy. #ONStorm pic.twitter.com/BKBucdxhdA