Ontario prepares for its first winter storm of 2014
Saturday, January 4, 2014, 4:46 PM -
STORM WATCH: Tune in on TV as we track this major system's approach.
After days of record cold, southern Ontario is bracing for yet another winter storm, moving in on Sunday night and delivering 20 cm or more of snow by end of day Monday.
GTA right on the line (as always) but bottom line is the snow Sun night & rapid dropping temps will make for a bad drive Mon AM #onstorm— Dayna Vettese (@daynavettese) January 4, 2014
When the sun rises on Sunday, it will already be snowing in some areas, and by the afternoon, the heaviest will reach the southwest.
The Greater Toronto Area will be in the thick of it Sunday evening, and although it will taper off overnight, it will persist in eastern Ontario and southern Quebec on Monday.
Environment Canada has issued snowfall warnings for areas including Windsor, Sarnia and Barrie, where up to 20 cm of snow is possible by Monday morning.
Those messy conditions will make for a difficult commute on Monday morning, made worse by the bitter cold air that will flow in behind the storm on Monday.
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Those cold temperatures could be the lowest experienced this season so far in Ontario, which would come as an unwelcome surprise to many people in the southern part of the province.
The past week already saw record cold temperatures recorded in several communities on Friday morning.
The temperatures were so low that they produced very rare "frost quakes," a phenomenon that occurs when groundwater freezes and expands enough to actually crack the earth, causing very audible bangs on Thursday night.
Here's what happens to a flowing waterfall when the temperature falls far enough:
As of 8 a.m. Saturday morning, Environment Canada had not issued any winter weather watches or warnings for southern Ontario, only a special weather statement.
In the north, meanwhile, communities along Lake Superior and Lake Huron were under snowfall warnings, as the region deals with the tail end of an Alberta Clipper.
Drivers across the region had a tough time this week already, with up to ten more centimetres of snow still to fall by Sunday.
For an in-depth look at the coming storm, check out this analysis by meteorologist Brad Rousseau.