Ontario: Travel impact expected with heavy snow, ice Sunday

Digital WritersThe Weather Network
Digital Writers

December arrives on Sunday and so does the wrath of winter in southern Ontario. Plan ahead.

December will open on a messy note for southern Ontario, with a Colorado low set to bring ice, snow, and strong winds to the region. Freezing rain warnings are in place from the Niagara region to Hamilton and toward London, while snowfall warnings stretch from north of the GTA to near Kingston. We take a look at where travel will be treacherous on Sunday, and how it may impact your back-to-work commutes, below.

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2019/2020 for an in-depth look at the Winter Forecast, tips to plan for it and a sneak peek at the spring season next year



Below seasonal temperatures will be widespread across southern Ontario on Saturday due to a departing Colorado low. Despite being chilly, conditions will remain calm into the afternoon, making for the best travel day of the weekend by far.

That's ahead of the new Colorado low that will track towards southern Ontario region Saturday night, which threatens a widespread messy and wintry mix. All forms of precipitation are possible; snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, and rain.

The system is expected to push into southwestern Ontario Saturday overnight and then into the GTA during the pre-dawn hours on Sunday.

Environment Canada has issued special weather statements across southern Ontario due to the incoming messy mix of precipitation. Freezing rain, ice pellets and snow will develop during the predawn hours on Sunday, especially for areas from Hamilton to London and along the escarpment as well.

Ontario Ice

"For areas north and east of Toronto, most of the precipitation will fall as snow with as much as 10-15 cm possible by the time it tapers later on Sunday," says The Weather Network's Dr. Doug Gillham, adding that snow totals will then drop off to about 5-10 cm for much of eastern Ontario.

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West and south of Toronto the snow will mix with ice pellets and freezing rain and that should hold snow totals to 5-10 cm as well.

Ontario snow

"Across the Niagara region and west to London and over to Lake Huron, just a trace to a few centimetres of snow is expected as most of the precipitation will fall as ice pellets and freezing rain with significant ice accretion possible on trees and powerlines," Gillham warns.

Ontario ice pellets

The heaviest snowfall accumulations will be around the Bruce Peninsula and eastern shores of Georgian Bay the range of 10 to 20 cm.

Temperatures will slightly rise above freezing across southern parts of the GTA and across Niagara by Sunday afternoon. A strong east wind will also develop however, with gusts between 60-70+ km/h possible.

Although temperatures are expected to be within a few degrees of seasonal for much of next week, a colder and more wintry pattern looks to lock in for the second week of December.

Be sure to check back for updates as the forecast details of this storm could still change over the next couple of days.