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Winter returns | Ontario snow

Looking for Ontario snow? HERE it is, a doozy for some

Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Friday, March 2, 2018, 12:35 PM - Southern Ontario's latest blast of winter didn't quite share the love across the region, but areas that did receive heavy snow were hit especially hard. Several reports of thundersnow also caught many Ontarians off guard. 

Visit our Complete Guide to SPRING 2018  for a preview of the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more.

Although much of the Greater Toronto Area missed the heaviest snow, places like Hamilton and Niagara bore the brunt of the storm, as expected. 

That forced widespread school closures and bus cancellations in the Niagara region early Friday with 15+ cm of snow unofficially reported. Meanwhile, a tree toppled over an SUV in Hamilton Thursday night as heavy snow also accumulated on hydro wires in the area. 

WATCH BELOW: On the ground in the Niagara Region, with Shannon Bradbury

For other areas that didn't receive as much of a wintry wallop, police officials are still warning to go slow as roads could be slushy and slippery. According to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, about 20 collisions on GTA roads were reported through the overnight hours on Thursday.

Where did the GTA snow go?

Whether relieved or let down, the mutual feeling across the GTA is confused. As explained by our experts in the top video above, the key to the lack of snow in the GTA was the dry air at the surface. 

"We all felt very strong northeast winds and that brought dry air into low levels, so for several hours, people were looking at the radar and it looked like it was snowing, but it wasn't because the dry air meant that what was falling was evaporating before it reached the ground," explains Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. 

And this is known as virga: an observable streak or shaft of precipitation falling from a cloud that evaporates or sublimates before reaching the ground.

The northeast winds also helped to erode the northern edge of an intense snow band, which set up through the evening hours on Thursday. 

"So the snow was really about 10-15 km offshore from Toronto for several hours while we had thundersnow in Niagara," Gillham says. "The snow did eventually reach Toronto during the overnight, but that only lasted for a couple of hours because a Nor'easter rapidly developed off the coast and robbed the moisture on the back side of the system."

Thundersnow and lightning

Several reports of thundersnow rolled in Thursday night.

Click play to watch thundersnow in Hamilton, Ont. 

Thundersnow is basically just a thunderstorm with snow reaching the ground instead of rain. 

It's exceptionally rare and most commonly found within convective winter storms like this one. And despite a thunderstorm happening within a winter month, they can still be as equally damaging. 

Winter over NOW?

Despite abundant sunshine and seasonal conditions expected this weekend and into next week, remember, March IS still a winter month.

"There are some signs of a significant warm-up around or just after mid-month, followed by a trend back to or just below seasonal for late month," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "March has a reputation for being a temperamental month and this March looks to fit that reputation with typical back and forth swings in temperature that should come close to offsetting each other."

The final numbers for March as a whole will likely be near to just above seasonal.

For a detailed analysis on daily weather across the Golden Horseshoe, click here for insight from our expert

IN PHOTOS: Welcome back winter

From our viewers - Upload here

Nat Penson - St. Catharines, Ont.

Elaine Poulter, London, Ont.

Larissa Hynek, Hagersville, Ont.

Brad, Grimsby, Ont.

Caleb Duncan, Grimsby, Ont.

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