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Ontarians can expect a wintry kick off to the new year.

A snowy, windy start to 2014 in southern Ontario

Digital writers

Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 5:32 PM -

Winter continues to hold a firm grip on much of Ontario as 2013 draws to a close with residents of the province's far north being warning to expect bitterly cold temperatures through Thursday.

On Tuesday, snow squalls were spotted in communities from Grand Bend north to the Bruce Peninsula, and Parry Sound north to Bayfield. The conditions had largely tapered in time for the evening commute.

Now forecasters are turning their attention to a system originating out of the U.S. Midwest.

"This system will affect southern Ontario Wednesday into Thursday," explains Weather Network meteorologist Brian Dillon.

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"Light snow is expected through the northern tier of the GTA but areas south of Hamilton will receive heavier amounts, with the highest accumulation in Chatham."

Snow will develop in southwestern Ontario and the Niagara region Wednesday afternoon and could reach the GTA by the evening.

The conditions are expected to taper Thursday morning.

By the time all is said and done, Chatham could see up to 15 cm of snow with locally higher amounts.

Sarnia, London, Niagara and Hamilton regions could see up to 10 cm, while Kitchener-Waterloo, the GTA and Montreal may see up to 5 cm of snow accumulate.

"From Wednesday night into Thursday, there is the potential for northeasterly winds gusting between 40 and 60 km/h," Dillon adds.

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