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Impending snow could disrupt March Break travel plans in Ontario

Thursday, March 10th 2022, 8:43 pm - A stretch of messy winter weather will hit Ontario just in time to disrupt road trips and flights for March Break travellers.

Ontario may be done with winter, but winter isn’t done with Ontario just yet. Wintry conditions will return to the province on Friday night as a batch of snow treks across the region. The heaviest totals are expected in eastern Ontario, with lesser amounts possible over southern Ontario. A slight wobble in the path of this powerful stateside storm could affect snowfall amounts. More on this system and its impacts, and what to expect heading into March Break, below.


Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2022 for an in-depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more!


FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY: SNOW SPREADS INTO ONTARIO, HEAVIEST AMOUNTS EXPECTED IN THE EAST

A major winter storm approaching Eastern Canada this weekend threatens to disrupt and delay March Break travel plans by road and air.

An initial system will track south of Ontario on Friday, bringing widespread light snow across the region, with just a couple of centimetres expected during the day. The main system, however, will quickly engulf that preceding system and bring heavier snowfall amounts Friday night into Saturday.

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This potent low-pressure system will track well south of the border, following along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard toward Quebec and the Maritimes. This system is a bit more complex than usual and additional forecast adjustments are possible over the next day or so.

MUST SEE: Friday expected to be busiest day at Pearson Airport since start of pandemic

Currently, the heaviest swath of snow looks to be more focused in parts of eastern Ontario and across southern Quebec, east of the St. Lawrence River. Across the east, the snow looks to be at its heaviest through the day on Saturday before departing the area by Sunday morning.

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By the end of the precipitation, the Greater Toronto Area can expect about 5 cm of snow through Saturday, with between 5-10 cm likely in the Niagara region. The city of Ottawa can expect about 5-10 cm, while 10-15 cm is possible from Kingston to Cornwall.

Along with the snow, strong winds will develop through Saturday afternoon, creating potential whiteout conditions, reduced visibility and difficult travel through that time.

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The system will depart on Saturday and leave behind a cold and raw day for southern Ontario. Gusty northwesterly winds of 50-70 km/h will stir up some lake-effect snow behind the system overnight Saturday and into Sunday along the Huron and Georgian Bay shores.

MUCH MILDER CONDITIONS RETURN FOR MARCH BREAK

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 second half of March Break. There's the potential for some late April-like weather, but areas along the lakeshore also risk staying much cooler.

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Above-seasonal temperatures are expected to last through the weekend, but this will likely be a false start to spring as we will continue to be tested by the flip-flopping weather.

Be sure to check back for the latest weather updates across Ontario.

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