Potent squalls, dangerous conditions bring traffic to a standstill in London
Locally heavy snow squalls continue across parts of southern Ontario Friday, threatening additional heavy amounts before the squalls wind down.
Snow squalls will continue pouring off of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay on Friday, and though diminished from their overnight peaks Thursday, the gusty winds are still making for difficult and dangerous travel due to the blowing snow. Many places also woke to the coldest morning lows of the season so far early Friday, a bitter chill that will continue well into Saturday. For a closer look at the continuing squalls and the blast of widespread arctic air for the weekend, see below.
Squalls will still linger through Friday, though will be weaker and less impactful
Coldest air of the season moves in, first -20°C lows for some areas
Potential system may arrive by the end of the weekend
FRIDAY: LINGERING SQUALLS AND ADDITIONAL HEAVY ACCUMULATIONS
The lake-effect snow machine once again fired up across Ontario's traditional snow belt regions on Thursday, intensifying into the evening and overnight hours and making for some treacherous travel.
The squalls off of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay will continue on Friday, as an extremely cold air mass lingers over the mostly wide open and ice-free Great Lakes.
Conditions deteriorated quickly Friday morning in the London area, as a jackknifed tractor trailer brought traffic to a standstill on Highway 401 eastbound at Highbury Avenue. After about an hour, officials confirmed that the truck had been removed and all lanes of the highway were open again by 11 a.m.
Still, with the snow still falling, Middlesex OPP have been asking motorists to "slow down and practic patience" as the snow squalls on local roads are making for extremely difficult travel.
"The snow is falling and the roadways are slippery! Please slow down and drive according to the road/weather conditions and get home safely to your familly," the OPP West Region tweeted out.
SNOW SQUALLS PERSIST INTO FRIDAY NIGHT
"Additional snowfall accumulations from 5 to 15+ cm are possible over the areas where squalls are most persistent near the Highway 21 corridor beteween Kincardine and Grand Bend, with up to 5 additional cenimetres down to the 401/402 corridor," says Weather Network meteorologist Michael Carter.
The squalls will start to diminish later Friday night, as the winds shift around in the lead up to the next incoming late weekend system.
Also harsh will be the temperatures into Saturday, feeling very winter-like, with morning lows into the negative teens and even 20s for some areas, including Toronto and Ottawa.
Add in the winds, and the wind chills will be dangerously cold for the unprepared – in all, this will be the coldest air of the season so far.
LOOK AHEAD: EYES ON A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM SOUTH OF THE BORDER
The cold temperatures will continue for the weekend, but they may seem a bit more bearable when paired with the abundant sunshine expected for much of the region.
But forecasters are also keeping a very close eye on a significant winter storm, which will track well south of the border late Sunday and Monday and then redevelop off the coast of the mid-Atlantic states. Stay tuned for the latest updates on the weekend Colorado low later Friday.
Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the active weather in your area.
Thumbnail image courtesy: OPP West Region