Wintry mix of freezing rain and heavy snow hits northern Ontario, parts of the GTA affected
Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 6:42 PM -
STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for continued updates on this system.
The same system that brought heavy snow, blizzard conditions and frigid wind chills to parts of the Prairies early this week continued to push into northwestern Ontario Monday night.
Around five centimetres of snow was recorded in Thunder Bay early Tuesday, with heavier amounts expected through the day on Wednesday.
"An area of snow is expected to move into Superior west near midday and spread into Superior north this afternoon then northeast towards Geraldton and Kapuskasing early this evening," says Environment Canada in their statement Wednesday morning. "Total snowfall amounts of 15 to 25 cm will be possible by the time the snow tapers off on Thursday."
In addition to the heavy snow, brisk and gusty winds will likely accompany the storm which could result in reduced visibility in blowing snow.
A few hours of freezing rain are possible before temperatures rise above zero and a change to rain occurs.
Officials are warning motorists to be prepared for hazardous winter driving conditions as untreated surfaces may become icy and slippery.
Freezing rain warnings were also issued for parts of eastern Ontario Wednesday with patchy freezing rain affecting the morning commute.
A multi-vehicle crash involving about 15-20 cars was reported on Highway 401 west of Trenton.
Police say no serious injuries were reported.
Storm chaser Dave Patrick tweeted that the highway near Trenton was like a "skating rink" early Wednesday as the rain picked up and temperatures hovered around the freezing mark.
Freezing rain was the result of another crash in Caledon Wednesday morning.
"Even with an inch of sand on the roads you still slide, crashes everywhere here now, very heavy fog rolling in as well along Highway 9," says camera operator Mark Rozitis. "Orangeville is not too bad, but the parking lots are glare ice."
"The threat for freezing rain will stay north and east of Toronto, with prolonged periods of freezing rain expected near the Ottawa Valley Wednesday afternoon," says Weather Network meteorologist Monica Vaswani.
Environment Canada adds that freezing rain in eastern Ontario may not begin until Wednesday afternoon or evening, but it could persist into Thursday morning.
That means road conditions could be dangerous and slick and drivers are being asked to adjust travel plans accordingly.
SCHOOL BUS CANCELLATIONS
The wintry mix across Ontario gave thousands of students a day off on Wednesday.
Several school bus cancellations were reported including in the Peterborough area, as well as Haliburton, Muskoka and the City of Kawartha Lakes.