Travel not recommended in southern Ont., ice storm continues
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 9:07 PM - Historic is a word being used to describe the widespread power outages, hundreds of cancelled flights, localized flooding, and treacherous travel conditions that arrived with a damaging ice storm set to make the weekend miserable for millions across Ontario.
The storm brings with it a myriad of concerns around higher flows and water levels, that may result in potential flooding and hazardous conditions. The shoreline of Lake Ontario is another area of concern as large waves (potentially 2.0 metres in height) and a change in wind direction overnight will bring surge to areas. It is advised to avoid shorelines at all costs.
At the height of the storm Saturday, over 15,000 Hydro One customers were without power. The OPP were called to over 400 crashes in the Greater Toronto Area, according to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.
Winds were powerful enough in Hamilton to knock over a large commercial sign and seriously injure a man. He was rushed to hospital where he remains in critical condition, according to CBC News.
"The bottom line is that this will be a high impact winter storm this weekend in southern Ontario," warns The Weather Network's chief meteorologist Chris Scott. "After a lull in heavy precipitation Saturday night, freezing rain on Sunday coupled with strong winds will likely cause power outages."
Further forecast details and timing, below.
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- Widespread freezing rain warnings in effect across southern Ontario; some winter storm warnings also issued, mainly north and east of Toronto
- Risk of ice accumulations of 20 mm for worst-hit areas
- Strong winds, combined with ice-laden trees and power lines, will likely result in widespread power outages
- Travel will be inadvisable for many areas
LULL IN PRECIP DOES NOT MARK THE END OF THIS MESS
Most areas will have a lull in the freezing rain Saturday night before a second round overnight.
"Freezing drizzle will continue in many areas, but precipitation totals will be light," says The Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham. "However, the northeast wind will gust to 60-80 km/h, putting a tremendous strain on trees and power lines in areas that saw freezing rain during the day."
WATCH BELOW: A closer look at ice conditions for southern Ontario
SUNDAY: THE WORST OF THE STORM
The worst of the storm is expected on Sunday as freezing rain surges back into the region.
The second round of freezing rain spreads in from south to north across as the main push of moisture arrives predawn Sunday.
From the late morning through the early evening, freezing rain changes to rain from south to north, beginning in the Niagara region and Lake Ontario shore.
"However, there is still a lot of uncertainty about how quickly temperatures will rise above freezing and we are increasingly concerned that the temperature will be slower to rise above zero than we initially expected, especially across northern areas," Gillham says. "If this does occur, we could see substantial ice accumulation and a heightened threat for damage to trees and power lines. In addition, the east wind will be gusting 60 to 80 km/h through the day."
Gillham says periods of rain and thunderstorms with strong winds will continue Sunday evening and Sunday night.
BE PREPARED: Winter Driving Tips
CENTRAL, EASTERN ONTARIO TAKE HEFTY SNOW HIT