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Snow squall setup favours hefty totals for parts of southern Ontario

Sunday, November 21st 2021, 6:40 pm - Parts of Ontario's snowbelt regions will see potent lake-effect snow squalls kick-start the new work week, likely disrupting travel and bringing accumulations of 15-30 cm by the time they ease off Tuesday.

A dive in temperatures thanks to a short-lived burst of Arctic air will fuel some snow squalls of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, beginning Monday morning and lasting through to early Tuesday. Areas close to the lake shores could see as much as 15-30 cm from this event. Beyond, temperatures will moderate by mid-week after the lake-effect snow machine shuts down. More on timing and impacts, and how soon the squalls will develop and cause travel woes, below.


A winter weather travel advisory and special weather statements are in place for parts of cottage country and southern Ontario, respectively, ahead of the impending development of lake-effect snow squalls.

The potential is there for snow squalls to develop off Georgian Bay and Lake Huron early Monday morning and continue through Tuesday afternoon for areas near the latter. The strongest bands are expected near Lake Huron on Monday, then expected to move southward in the overnight period.


Winds will be gusting between 50-60+ km out of the west and northwest, with the worst conditions expected early Monday morning into the afternoon hours, across southern Ontario.

"Concern is there for a snow band to develop and intensify as there is the chance that winds align out of the northwest over both Lake Superior and Lake Huron, allowing for an intense squall to form and move inland, impacting the snow belts," said Jessie Uppal, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Less intense snow squalls are possible Tuesday morning before weakening to flurries Tuesday afternoon. Locally, 15-30 cm of snow can be expected within these more potent bands.

These snow squalls are expected to develop in the wake of a cold front and will bring rapidly accumulating snowfall along with reduced visibilities at times. Strong winds near the shores of Georgian Bay will also aid in reduced visibilities due to blowing snow.


"Travel may be hazardous due to sudden changes in the weather. Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop," Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) says in the winter weather travel advisory.

It also cautions that surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.


The chilly air mass will not be locked in place for very long, as seasonal temperatures return to the region by Wednesday.

However, more unsettled weather is possible again late week, but most likely some showers, followed by somewhat cooler, but near seasonal, temperatures.

Be sure to check back for updates on the forecast in Ontario.

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