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Winter dominates in Ontario: Bitter cold, snow squalls

Dr. Doug Gillham
Meteorologist, PhD

Friday, November 10, 2017, 6:55 AM - Southern Ontario's burst of winter weather continued Friday morning, and many throughout the region woke up to subzero temperatures and lake-effect snow.

Snowsqualls persisted off of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, where snow bands had set up Thursday overnight. During the morning commute, the snow will slowly drift to the west, impacting parts of the northern and eastern GTA, as well as the 401 and 402 in the London area. these conditions should diminish throughout Friday, calming into Saturday.

An arctic cold front which swept in Thursday overnight brought southern Ontario its coldest air since March. Ranging from between about -6 to -15oC, early Friday morning, temperatures will remain cold overnight but should warm up through the weekend. 


• Intense lake-effect snow for several regions
• Deteriorating driving conditions
• Snowfall accumulations
• Where the heaviest snow will fall

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Concern around travel and roads

Our primary concern during this time is that roads will become very icy in areas impacted by the snow squalls

Initially the snow will melt on the roads, but as the temperature plunges well below freezing the roads will become slushy. In places where the slush gets packed down by vehicles, it will freeze into a layer of ice on the roads. This will result in localized areas of very dangerous travel.

In addition, the wind will be gusting to 70 km/h, which will produce whiteouts across open areas.

The burst of snow with the Arctic front will tend to diminish south of the 401, but a brief period of heavy snow is expected along parts of the 401.


• Behind front, lake-effect snow developed southeast of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron overnight Thursday and will persist through Friday  
• Roads will become very icy in areas impacted by squalls
• Winds gusting to 70 km/h, which may produce whiteout conditions
• Pre-dawn Friday, bands expected to drift south and west reaching parts of GTA and London by start of morning commute
• Highways 401 and 402 to be impacted, snow to diminish to flurries in time for evening commute on Friday

Keep on top of active weather by visiting the ALERTS page.

If you will be travelling in these areas, especially heading south along the 400, allow extra time and expect winter driving conditions.

The lake effect snow will diminish to flurries by Friday afternoon, with minimal impact for the evening commute.  

There will be a wide range in snow accumulations across the region as we typically see with lake-effect snow. Snowfall totals will reach 10 to 20 cm under the more persistent snow bands with the potential for localized higher amounts. Outside of the lake-effect bands, snow totals will be just a trace to 2 cm.

While the heaviest snow will only impact localized areas, we will all experience the frigid temperatures. High temperatures on Friday will be near our seasonal highs for January, and record low temperatures are expected both Friday and Saturday morning.

Looking ahead, tempeartures will start to recover over the weekend.

A weak clipper will bring scattered rain/snow showers Sunday evening into the overnight for southern Ontario.

A milder pattern is expected next week, with temperatures near seasonal. By midweek, a front is forecast to cross the region, bringing a period of rain and snow to areas north of Montreal.

Check back for updates as we continue to monitor the forecast.

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