First storm of February gets underway in Ontario
Saturday, February 1, 2014, 2:26 PM -
STORM WATCH: We're following this system from the studio and in the field. Tune in to the Weather Network on TV.
Valentine's Day is two weeks away, but drivers in southern Ontario will find little to love about the weather this weekend.
In the early morning hours, the winter-weary province was feeling the beginnings of what is only the first of several lows targeting the region over the coming days.
The snow began early in the morning in parts of southwest Ontario, with snowfall warnings already in effect across a large stretch of the province from the shores of Lake Huron to the National Capital Region.
Forecasters are warning of totals up to 20 cm in some areas, from Goderich to Orangeville, Newmarket to Peterborough, and the Ottawa region over to the Quebec border and beyond.
Less, but still hefty amounts, are expected in areas spreading out from those regions, where 10-15 cm may fall.
The heaviest snow is expected through the afternoon and evening.
In the Greater Toronto Area, it should begin in the mid-morning, but although snowfall warnings were in effect elsewhere in the GTA, the city of Toronto itself was covered only by a special weather statement.
The city, along with coastal areas north of Lake Ontario, are on track to receive lesser amounts, but following the snow will be a rain-snow mix in many areas.
But whether snow or rain, the region's busiest highways are once again square in the path of this system. Drivers should be on guard and avoid driving if possible.
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MIXING FOLLOWS THE STORM
As the system moves through the region on its way east Saturday, a rain-snow mix will follow in parts of the southwest, the Greater Toronto Area and north of Lake Ontario.
Areas south of Highway 401, along with the Niagara Peninsula, are expected to change into a brief period of rain later in the evening.
This is just the latest in a long series of winter storm events that have passed through Ontario and the east coast, shutting down highways and wreaking havoc for residents.
As of Friday evening, Dufferin County, which was among those parts of southern Ontario worst hit by the storms, was still in a state of emergency, although it revised the declaration to include specific parts of the county.
And as unwelcome as this weekend weather will be to residents, forecasters say there's an even bigger storm on the way next week.
After Saturday's heavy wet snow, confidence growing for classic snow storm for S'rn ON/QC late Tues into Wed #onstorm— Chris Scott (@ChrisScottWx) January 31, 2014
ABOUT THE NEXT STORM: The Weather Network's Chris Scott says confidence is growing for a "classic" snowstorm in southern Ontario and Quebec next week. Click here to read his in-depth analysis.