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Fluctuating temperatures and flurries for southern Ontario

Digital writers

Saturday, January 27, 2018, 7:42 PM - Expect the rest of this weekend to feel like spring across southern Ontario. That's before part two of winter commences next week, with a return to more consistent frigid temperatures and an active storm track as we head into February.

Weather highlights

  • Snow squalls to cross northeastern Ontario Saturday afternoon/early evening
  • Northwesterly flow returns Sunday, dropping temperatures into the work week
  • Weak system could bring light snow to southern Ontario for Monday morning commute 
  • Potential for heavier snow to follow on Groundhog Day.

Keep on top of active weather by visiting the ALERTS page.

Gusty southwest winds up to 60 km/h will hold temperatures around 8oC for the Greater Toronto Area, with double-digits possible for the extreme southwest.

Meanwhile, in northeastern Ontario a snow squall watch has been issued for parts including, Geraldton, Wawa, Kapuskasing, and Chapleau. Meanwhile, a snow squall warning remained in effect Saturday night for Sault Ste. Marie.

"Snow squalls are expected. Under the snow squall bands, visibilities will be significantly reduced due to the heavy snow combined with blowing snow, and snow will quickly accumulate," the warning read. "Highway 17 will likely be affected."

Temperatures will begin to fall Sunday as winds shift to the northwest, with a more wintry start to next week. 

Snow for Monday commute in southern Ontario

Looking ahead, there is the potential for a weak system to bring a couple of centimetres of snow on Monday. This is not a major storm, but could still impact commute times in southern Ontario as snow coats the ground.

"Tuesday will bring a return to sunshine, but temperatures will be several degrees colder than seasonal," says The Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "Temperatures will briefly climb above 0oC once again during Wednesday and Thursday before a stronger and prolonged shot of Arctic air arrives late Thursday."

By the end of next week, there's the potential for a swath of snow on Ground Hog Day (February 2), but it's still too early at this point to have confidence in exactly where that occurs. The track will ultimately decide if Ontario is the dividing zone between rain or snow, or if that divide remains south of the border.

Imaged below is an example of a possible storm track for late next week across Eastern Canada.

Frigid February: When does it start?

"Arctic air will be flooding into eastern Canada faster than initially expected, but there will also be a lot of fight from a subtropical ridge during the second week of February (February 5-10)," says Gillham. "That will keep the core of the Arctic air to the west of the Great Lakes and the potential for an active storm track into southern Ontario and southern Quebec."

Gillham adds that at this point, all options are on the table, which means the storm track could be well south of the border, or the boundary could retreat, allowing milder weather to briefly win out again.

By mid-February, however, the Arctic air should ultimately win the battle, shifting further east and setting us up for a cold pattern to dominate through the remainder of the month and deep into March.

"February (and into March) has the potential to be similar to what we experienced during late December and early January," Gillham says, adding that there's the chance for February to be a memorable month for winter weather, especially from the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada.  

WATCH: Why ski resorts actually LIKE the annual ‘January thaw’

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