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Colorado low | Damaging winds

Damaging winds whip into Ontario, north takes huge snow hit

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 6:36 PM - A potent Colorado low made its presence felt across Ontario on Wednesday, raking the province with damaging winds, heavy snow, and soaking rains as it rolled through the region.

While this major storm eases its way out of the province by Thursday morning, we're not in the clear yet, as forecasters are keeping an eye on a strengthening clipper system, set to bring additional winter-like weather later this week. More on that, below.

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WATCH BELOW: What's left - Storm timing

Damaging winds, lake effect snow

Violent winds lashed much of southern and northeastern Ontario through Wednesday, with gusts in excess of 100 km/h reported during the afternoon hours. Numerous reports of damage, including windows blown out of buildings and cranes toppling, came in as the cold front cut a brutal path across the southern tier of the province.

These winds also helped spur lake-enhanced snow, which may have contributed to a 50-car pile-up in Barrie, Ontario. Wind warnings, along with some lingering winter storm warnings over parts of the northeast, will drop off through the evening hours as the system departs. Even as winds edge below warning criteria, however, strong gusts are expected to continue to drive blowing and drifting snow, making for challenging travel conditions through the overnight.

"These winds may produce power outages in some places," Environment Canada also added in their warning. "Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage."

WATCH BELOW: Chris St. Clair reports from Lake Ontario, whipping winds create a 'seiche'

Strengthening clipper brings another blast of winter weather

Conditions will be much quieter on Thursday, but eyes are on a clipper that will strengthen as it tracks through the Great Lakes Thursday night and Friday. 

Model guidance has been back and forth on the development of this next system, drifting the associated low pressure north and south - and thus in and out of range of southern Ontario. At present, general consensus suggests southern and central Ontario will at least be clipped by the system as it moves through Thursday night or Friday.

If the track stands as-is, most of the Golden Horseshoe could see 2 to 5 cm of snow. 

"The highest totals will likely be across northern areas - well north of the 401 and above the escarpment," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham.

Friday also stands to be another windy day with gusts up to 60 km/h accompanying the chilly temperatures. 

WATCH BELOW: Not done yet, Ontario - more snow coming

Lack of persistent warmth during April

The colder than normal temperatures are set to dominate through the middle of next week with a struggle for any persistent warmth for the month of April. In fact, the more consistent warmth will likely hold off until May. 

"It looks like the second half of April will bring back and forth swings in temperature (typical of spring) but the final numbers will tip to the cold side of seasonal," says Gillham. 

Stick with us here at The Weather Network, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more on these developing systems. 

See below: Social media lit up with posts about severe winds in Ontario Wednesday afternoon

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