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The Forecast Centre is keeping an eye on the next in a series of Colorado lows set to impact the Great Lakes region with more snow and messy travel conditions.

Colorado low brings more snow to southern Ontario

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 8:53 PM - The Forecast Centre is keeping an eye on an incoming series of Colorado lows set to impact the Great Lakes region with more snow and messy travel conditions.

Though this one won’t be as strong as last weekend’s powerful storm, it still brings unsettled weather to many in Ontario – including a chance for accumulating snow in some areas that were bypassed by the last system.

WINTER FORECAST Q&A: For a deeper look into the winter predictions, watch the video above.


The storm began to impact southern Ontario late Wednesday afternoon, as a warm front tracks across the Great Lakes. 

With cold air already in place, precipitation started out as snow or a rain-snow mix for much of southern Ontario Wednesday evening.

A changeover to rain will begin from south to north as warm air advances late Wednesday, but not before many areas pick up at least few centimeters of snowfall.

"We may see a brief period of ice pellets along the transition line, but the impacts from any mixed precipitation should be minor," adds the meteorology team. 

WINTER IS HERE: With La Niña helping shape global patterns what will Canadians expect from winter? Find out with The Weather Network’s 2016 Winter Forecast | FORECAST & MAPS HERE

"Late [Wednesday] evening, the risk of freezing rain move[s] into the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph areas and during the overnight hours, it will reach the Dundalk highlands," Environment Canada said in a special weather statement.

"It is possible that some locales could experience several hours of freezing rain. However, temperatures are forecast to be just below the freezing mark, so treated surfaces should remain ice free."

Though some of you in southern Ontario that didn’t have the luck (good or bad, depending on your perspective) to stack up any accumulations with the last system, measurable snow should be more widespread with this week’s event. That’s because we’re dealing with system snow rather than lake effect, which is much more localized.

Widespread snow totals of 3 to 5 cm are likely to fall north of a line from London to Niagara -- except along the immediate lake shore, where slightly warmer temperatures may limit accumulation. The higher terrain to the northwest of the GTA may be looking at closer to 5 to 10 cm for this event.

"For the GTA and north, the snow would pretty well be done for the [Thursday] morning commute, or at least changed over to rain," says Weather Network meteorologist Matt Grinter. "There's a few areas that will stay as snow or a mix, but other areas look to clear up by morning."

"We're looking at travel conditions ranging from snow to slush to wet, in that order, from Orangeville southward," Grinter adds.

"From what we've seen this season, [Thursday morning] may be the most impactful commute, but just more of a wet one in the major areas that may have traffic."


The image above represents model guidance, not a forecast, but it does give a good idea of the areas likely to see accumulating snow from this event. As always with this type of guidance, it’s important to focus on the overall pattern, not specific amounts at any one location.

Mixed precipitation, including freezing rain and ice pellets, are possible along the rain/snow transition line as it advances northward. This is often a concern with warm front-setups, and could lead to additional travel disruptions

Most lingering precipitation should switch over to rain across southern Ontario on Thursday as surface temperatures climb into the mid single digits.

"The GTA should warm up enough by sunrise to change over to rain/snow mix, and then to rain by late morning, as snow lingers above the escarpment until early afternoon," says the meteorology team. "Light flurries may reach Ottawa and Montreal by morning/afternoon, but by this time precipitation coverage should be decreasing."

Temperatures across most locations in southern Ontario should climb into the low-to-mid single digits by Thursday afternoon.

Conditions look to remain unsettled through the rest of the week, with another wave of precipitation to push in for Friday. Meteorologists say this will most likely be a rain event for the south.

Check back for updates as we continue to monitor the forecast.

Based on original notes from Weather Network meteorologist Michael Carter.

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