Ontario: Squalls and frigid cold linger before the warm up
Saturday, December 8, 2018, 8:39 PM - Travel plans could be compromised for parts of Ontario this weekend as snow squalls continue to challenge drivers amid shifting winds. More on the snowfall amounts through Saturday and the surprising (less wintry) changes ahead, below.
WINTER IS HERE: How will El Niño shape Canada's upcoming winter? Find out with The Weather Network’s 2019 Winter Forecast | FORECAST & MAPS HERE
- Snow squalls drifting southward to Barrie, Orillia, Midland through Saturday, locally 10 cm expected
- Incoming Pacific air brings pleasant warm up through the weekend and into the beginning of next week
WATCH BELOW: SNOW TIMING
PERSISTENT SNOW SQUALLS ON THE MOVE
Snow squalls re-formed overnight off of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, beginning somewhat disorganized by the morning before becoming more organized through the day for areas such as Barrie, Orillia, and Midland.
Most squalls will be relatively weak, with some 5-10 cm expected in the worst-hit areas, with less than 5 cm for the Bruce Peninsula and cottage country, before ending Sunday. However, some bands are expected to strengthen over Georgian Bay and extend inland, with a winter weather travel advisory extending into the York-Durham region.
"Snow squalls cause weather conditions to vary considerably; changes from clear skies to heavy snow within just a few kilometres are common," warns Environment Canada. "If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop."
SEE THE WARMING PATTERN AHEAD
(See also: Is your white Christmas at risk?)
Toronto had its second coldest day of the season Friday, with daytime highs reaching no higher than -4oC, whereas Sudbury shivered through their coldest day of the season at -16.6oC during the day. Despite these frigid conditions, this weekend will herald a gradual warm-up for the start of next week.
"During next week, Pacific air (rather than Arctic air) will spread across Canada and bring a period of mild weather for the middle of December," adds Gillham.
The duration of the milder weather is still uncertain with a transition back to a more wintry pattern in time for Christmas.
"But it is too early to know if that will occur just before or after Christmas." That said, Gillham adds he's "concerned about white Christmas potential in southern Ontario" with any significant snow looking rather unlikely during the next two weeks.
Wondering what the winter season has in store? Check out all of the details in the official 2019 Winter Forecast, here