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Snow and freezing drizzle continue across southern Ontario

Digital writers

Friday, December 22, 2017, 7:06 AM - Bitterly cold air is on the way for southern Ontario after Christmas, but before it arrives, a complex setup of storms will focus snowfall and freezing rain on the busiest commuter corridors through the holidays.

The first round of snow continues to slide east through Friday across the region, bringing accumulating snowfall and the risk of freezing drizzle across some of the major highways.


  • Widespread snow across eastern Ontario through Friday with generally 5-10 cm
  • Snow becomes more occasional into southern and southwestern Ontario
  • Freezing drizzle is possible in southwestern Ontario towards the Niagara-Hamilton region on Friday
  • Freezing drizzle may extend into the GTA, including the 401 corridor Friday evening and overnight
  • Another system arrives Friday overnight through Saturday, with snow and freezing rain through Niagara and eastern Ontario along the 401, but sharp precipitation cut off
  • Christmas eve system brings a fresh coating of snow for Christmas morning!

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2017/18 for tips on how to to survive it, and much more.

Watch below: Some #ONStorm tweets from Friday morning's snowy commute


Snow will be ongoing through Friday, becoming more occasional across southern Ontario, but will be fairly widespread for eastern Ontario. A good 5-10 cm fell in the overnight period, leaving major highways mainly slick and wet, but secondary roads snow covered. Leave yourself extra time to brush off the car and quickly shovel the driveway. Light freezing drizzle is possible across southwestern Ontario into the Niagara and Hamilton regions through Friday. Not an ice storm by any means, but could produce locally slick roads and sidewalks.

Friday Night

This area of freezing drizzle will become more expansive in the evening and overnight period, growing from Niagara into the GTA and 401 corridor towards Kingston and Brockville. Again, not significant accretion, but could lead to some icy roads, bridges and overpasses. Take extra care while driving.


Second system develops from Texas and moves towards the Great Lakes, bringing abundant Gulf moisture and milder temperatures. Since the system will track stateside, the northern edge of the storm will creep into southern Ontario and will feature a sharp cut off where precipitation ends.

At this point in time, the northern extent of the storm will impact areas from Simcoe to Niagara and east of the GTA along the 401 to the Ottawa Valley, with a few centimetres of snowfall. In addition, freezing rain and ice pellets will mix in with the system throughout Saturday morning and afternoon, before colder air pressing in changes it all over to some quick snow Saturday evening. Otherwise, a quiet day across much of Ontario apart from some lake-effect flurries.

What will Christmas Day look like?

Another system will track across the region on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, bringing a fresh coasting of snow to wake up to for most of southern Ontario on Christmas morning. Lake-effect squalls will develop behind system during Christmas afternoon and evening as arctic air pours into the region. This will produce dangerous travel conditions with whiteouts across the snow belts southeast of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. The lake-effect squalls will continue Boxing Day and beyond.

Between Boxing Day and New Years Day, cross-polar flow will deliver air straight out of Siberia into much of central Canada, including the Great Lakes. This will lead to the coldest weather of the winter season so far for the final week of 2017 and likely into the start of 2018.

Watch Below: Winter weather experiments

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