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Temps take a major plunge across southern Ontario this weekend and heavy lake effect snow threatens drivers.

Dangerous driving: Cold temperatures and snow squalls forecast in southern Ontario this weekend

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    Digital writers

    Friday, November 22, 2013, 4:54 PM -

    After wicked winds and light snow pushed through southern Ontario earlier this week, high pressure has been dominating much of the region since Wednesday. 

    The calm and seasonal conditions however, are coming to an end. 

    "A Colorado Low with Arctic high pressure from the Prairies will start to affect Ontario on Friday," says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Rain will start the day with a messy mix expected for the evening, changing over to snow through the overnight hours."

    Dillon adds that lake-effect snow will hamper commuters around the Great Lakes on Saturday and Sunday as northwest winds and colder air filters into the region.

    "Blowing and drifting snow will be a major issue for drivers south of Lake Huron as well as along Highway 400 near Barrie," adds Doug Gillham, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. "There's also the potential for brief, heavy snow showers to make their way into the GTA, especially for areas further north and east."

    In addition to the heavy snow, frigid temperatures are forecast.

    "As the Arctic front slides through mid-day on Saturday, temperatures will continue to fall through the day," says Gillham.

    First shot at widespread snow in the GTA

    "We're currently watching a weak system that could bring us the first shot at seeing non lake effect snow in GTA on Monday," adds Gillham. "Many places have already seen localized bands of heavy snow off the lakes this season, but Monday could bring widespread snow to the region."

    Gillham adds that this snow will be light and only a couple of centimetres are expected, but for places like Toronto and Mississauga, this could be the first coating of snow.

    "The system gives everyone in the GTA the opportunity of seeing some snow, not just communities north of Toronto that are more vulnerable to the lake effect storms," Gillham says. 

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