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It hit hard in areas that had yet to shovel. See how much snow fell, and where it fell hardest.

Ontario reels beneath first major widespread storm of the season

Digital writers

Sunday, December 15, 2013, 3:01 PM -

TUNE IN: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for complete coverage on this system this weekend.

People in southwest Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area were digging out from the first major widespread winter storm of the region, even as eastern Ontario was still covered in snowfall warnings, including the national capital region.

Those had all been dropped by the late morning, after Ottawa got between 15 and 20 cm of snow, with strong winds making for cold temperatures and blowing snow as the storm moved east through Quebec to the Maritimes. 

Behind the storm, GTA and the southwest had seen significant snowfall amounts, after a day of major traffic problems.

The snow fell heaviest in the Windsor, Niagara and western Golden Horseshoe regions

But even though the worst is well over for that part of the province, snow squalls blowing in off the lakes will still bring flurries and additional amounts of 2 cm or more to many communities, up to 10 cm along the shores of Lake Huron by Monday.

Traffic chaos

The snow started in the southwest and GTA early Saturday morning, with significant lake-effect amounts recorded even before the main system snow began to arrive.

That led to terrible conditions on the region's snow-covered highways, including some of the busiest routes in Canada, on a weekend many were gearing up for Christmas shopping. 

Numerous accidents were reported on the area's highways, including a 20-vehicle pile-up along the QEW in Mississauga that fortunately did not result in any deaths or major injuries.

However, the Canadian Press reported the weather may have been a factor in the death of two people involved in a head-on collision in Barrie, and numerous collisions were reported in cities across the province.

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Although the storm was mostly over the GTA early Sunday, the region's OPP detachments were kept busy, and numerous collisions on still-unplowed roads were reported well into the afternoon.

Air travellers suffered a few headaches, with many flights cancelled out of major international airports, including Pearson in Toronto and Trudeau in Montreal.

Next in the storm's path is southern Quebec, where many regions, including Montreal, are expected to see 15 to 30 cm Sunday into the evening and early morning hours Monday.

And beyond, all three Atlantic provinces started Sunday covered in snowfall or winter storm warnings, with some areas preparing for up to 40 cm as the storm, called a nor'easter in the Atlantic region, moves through Sunday and Monday morning.

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