Major winter storm hits Manitoba, northern Ontario, dangerous travel conditions reported
Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 12:43 PM -
Poor winter driving conditions and zero visibility. It doesn't sound much like spring, but it's the unfortunate reality in parts of Manitoba and northern Ontario.
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Snowfall, winter storm and freezing rain warnings remained in place for much of northern Ontario early Tuesday as a major winter storm continues to impact the region.
"A Colorado Low continues to bring significant snowfall to northwestern Ontario and spring to southern Ontario," says Monica Vaswani, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
Up to 30 cm of snow had already been recorded in parts of the region by 6 am on Tuesday.
"Travelers should consider changing their plans as driving conditions will be hazardous with rain and freezing rain causing slippery conditions on untreated surfaces," warned Environment Canada in the statement Tuesday morning.
The treacherous conditions prompted several school bus cancellations and police are warning drivers to avoid unnecessary travel.
Nipigon, Dorion, Red Rock, Hurkett and Lake Helen buses are cancelled for today. Schools are still open.— SGDSB (@SGDSBoard) April 1, 2014
It was a similar story for drivers in southern Manitoba Monday night with ice covered and snow packed roads reported.
RCMP officials issued a statement warning of delays in emergency response time because of the poor driving conditions.
TUNE IN: Be sure to tune into The Weather Network on TV for Storm Watch updates on this system.
"The duration and severity of these poor driving conditions may change suddenly. The RCMP recommends that you drive with extra caution, reduce your speed and increase your distance between other vehicles," the statement read.
Blowing snow is expected to continue in extreme southeastern Manitoba Tuesday morning before winds gradually subside throughout the day.
"Colder air will flood into northwestern Ontario Tuesday changing any mixed precipitation to snow and blowing snow," says Vaswani. "The snow eases in northwestern Ontario through the evening hours while cottage country could see rain changing to a rain/snow mix throughout the day."
IS SOUTHERN ONTARIO SAFE?
Residents in southern Ontario can expect to enjoy another day of seasonal temperatures on Tuesday, with gusty winds upwards of 25 km/h expected in the Greater Toronto Area.
"Similarly in southern Ontario when the cold front departs Tuesday evening there is the risk of areas north of Toronto seeing a rain/snow mix," Vaswani warns. "Wednesday will be a drier and calmer day throughout the province."
ANOTHER SYSTEM EN ROUTE
"There's a system expected to move in late week and for the weekend in Ontario possibly bringing rain to the south and snow to the north. Models are currently in disagreement however on the exact timing and precipitation types. This may also be a severe weather event in the United States," Vaswani says.
Be sure to check back for frequent updates on this next developing system.