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Roads getting slick as snow falls fast across southern Ontario

Thursday, February 17th 2022, 5:42 pm - A quick drop in temperatures will change any rain to snowfall, with up to 25 cm possible across parts of southern Ontario by Friday morning.

Drivers across much of southern Ontario are on alert this Thursday evening as snow and ice make for dicey travel conditions across the region. Widespread warnings are in effect for the snow, with amounts possibly exceeding 20 cm through Friday morning. The worst of it will occur over a quick period—now through 10 p.m. Thursday—so it’s best to avoid travel during this time if possible. Temperatures falling sharply through Friday morning will compound the dangerous travel issues with slick and icy roads. More on what to expect through Friday, and warmer temperatures through the Family Day long weekend, below.


DON’T MISS: Here's how to stock your vehicle's emergency kit, BEFORE you get stranded


THROUGH FRIDAY: FLOODING RAIN CHANGES TO ICE AND SNOW

Much of southern Ontario woke up to more mild temperatures and heavy downpours early Thursday, with significant snow set to replace any of the piles that have melted.

The rain caused its own issues through the first half of Thursday, with localized flooding reported across the region Thursday morning. The heavy rain intensity also disrupted train commute times, with reports of flooding at the Long Branch GO station.

SEE: Heavy rain inundates parts of southern Ontario, flood warnings in effect

The colder air will continue to slide south throughout the evening, transitioning the rain to a brief period of ice and then to snow for northern parts of the GTA.

CONDITIONS DETERIORATE GREATLY THROUGH THE EVENING COMMUTE THURSDAY

The most challenging travel will be expected through the evening hours, as the second push of moisture will bring significant snowfall with high snowfall rates at times.

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Heavy snow will spread into the GTA and communities along the southern Great Lakes through the evening commute and continue into the overnight hours. That's as freezing rain and heavy rain will remain a threat for the evening drive along the QEW between Hamilton and Niagara.

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"Leaving early from work this evening will be advised, as snowfall rates will continue to increase into the evening hours," Sonnenburg says.

Heavy snow from Toronto to Ottawa will continue through the overnight, with the snow gradually tapering to flurries by Friday morning in southern Ontario. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in periods of heavy snow.

In all, a large swath of 10-25 cm of snow is expected from southwestern to eastern Ontario, with lesser amounts in Niagara region and along Erie shores where they can expect to see a longer period of freezing rain or ice pellets.

THREE HEADACHES THIS MIXED STORM WILL CAUSE DURING YOUR DAY:

Much colder air is expected by Friday morning, with temperatures dropping into the minus double digits and a frigid northwest wind developing. There will be a threat of a rapid freeze of any standing water, which will make for extremely slick surfaces such as sidewalks and roads.

WARMER FINISH TO THE FAMILY DAY LONG WEEKEND

While conditions remain well below seasonal on Friday, a warming trend is expected throughout the weekend and into next week, possibly bringing multiple days of very mild, even spring-like weather.

Looking ahead further, we're watching the potential for a taste of early spring at the end of February and into the beginning of March for southern Ontario and Quebec. However, keep in mind it is highly unlikely we are completely finished with the winter weather just yet.


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Check back for the latest forecast across Ontario.

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