Insult to injury: snow to follow Ontario Ice Storm
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 6:21 AM - Oh, winter. How can we miss you, if you won't go away?
Much of southern Ontario was able to wait out the damaging impacts from the wicked and historic ice storm over the weekend at home, but effects from the storm lingered into Monday, as heavy rain swamped poorly drained areas, and treacherous travel on roads and highways resulted in school closures and bus cancellations. Even the Blue Jays fell victim to the storm when Monday night's game had to be cancelled after ice falling from the CN Tower damaged the Rogers Centre.
While the bulk of the system has moved on to cause problems for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, rainfall warnings remained in effect for the evening commute for eastern Ontario, and the low pressure centre will have one more parting shot for southern Ontario on Tuesday. More on that below.
- Thousands still without power as of Monday evening
- Rain tapers off overnight, west to east, from GTA to Ottawa
- Lake-effect snow expected Tuesday with brisk northwest winds; dusting for most, 2 to 5 cm closer to Lake Huron
- People being asked to avoid CN Tower due to dangerous falling ice
- MUST SEE: Tens of thousands without power, ice storm damage. See the photos
WATCH BELOW: BURSTS OF SNOW WITH METEOROLOGIST ERIN WENCKSTERN
Tuesday - Blustery, cold, and lake-effect snow
The low that powered the ice storm finally starts to move out of Ontario overnight Monday into Tuesday, but it has one more parting gift for southern Ontario, as brisk northwest winds will spur the development of some lake-effect snow on Tuesday.
The coldest day of the week, with high temperatures hovering near the freezing mark across the region, we'll see some passing light snow for most of southern Ontario on Tuesday. Most spots are looking at a dusting at most, but some higher accumulations - 2 to 5 cm - are possible in the lee of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, where lake-enhanced snowfall will be an issue. In particularly persistent snow bands, up to 10 cm isn't entirely out of the question.
Thousands remain without power
While the numbers of outages have dropped since Sunday, by Monday night, thousands remained without power after the prolonged freezing rain and high winds took a significant toll on power lines.
"Crews are dealing with hazardous conditions and significant damage including downed poles/powerlines/trees," Toronto Hydro tweeted early Monday. "Progress is being made and restoration efforts will continue until all power is restored."
According to Hydro One, nearly 200,000 customers have been impacted throughout the entirety of this destructive storm with the wind likely doing more damage than the freezing rain and ice. At one point Sunday night, wind gusts reached 100 km/h across parts of the GTA. Winds were also powerful enough in Hamilton to knock over a large commercial sign and seriously injure a man, according to CBC.
Treacherous travel conditions
The OPP were called to roughly 1,600 crashes in the Greater Toronto Area over the course of the weekend, according to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt. Those numbers are climbing as dangerous driving conditions continue through Monday as drivers deal with rain, slush and ice.
Highway 400 was reported to be a "sheet of ice" in some locations early Monday and a stretch of the highway was closed near Barrie due to a multi-vehicle collision. Despite the less than ideal driving conditions at the time, Schmidt says the crash comes down to "driver error" and the driver of the transport truck was charged with careless driving.
The crash involved two tractor-trailers and happened just before 5 a.m. on Monday.
BE PREPARED: Winter Driving Tips
Eyes on the next system
After a brief period of dry weather and even some sunshine through the day on Wednesday, eyes are on the next system forecast to track across southern Ontario Wednesday night and into early Thursday bringing a mixture of rain and wet snow.
Watch below: The next one - late week snow
This next system will be minor compared to the blast we felt this past weekend, however, it does threaten to bring a few more centimetres of wet snow - mainly on grassy surfaces - to southern Ontario.
While temperatures remain on the "cool side of seasonal" for the upcoming weekend, sunshine and double digit temperatures will provide a sharp contrast to this past weekend. Still, we continue to struggle to receive any persistent or long stretches of warmth for the remainder of April.
"Late April will bring back and forth swings in temperature, but the final numbers will be on the cold side of seasonal," says Gillham. "We will have to wait until May for consistent warmth and it looks like we may need to be patient for that pattern reversal."