Winter Returns! Southern Ontario Braces for First Big Snowfall of February

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A man walks toward freight trucks waiting out a winter storm at a truck stop near Trenton, New Jersey, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
A man walks toward freight trucks waiting out a winter storm at a truck stop near Trenton, New Jersey, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

10-20 cm Could Blanket Much of the Region

After a quiet start to February and a record-breaking warm spell across Southern Ontario, the region is now poised for its first significant snowfall of the month. By Thursday, winter is set to grab hold of much of southern Ontario and drop significant amounts of snow.

The weather system will also impact Northwestern Ontario with Thunder Bay getting up to five centimetres of snow by later in the week. There will be more snow further east and travel on Highways 11 and 17 are likely going to be impacted.

Late last week’s warm temperatures, which seemed to affirm Wiarton Willie’s early spring prediction, have given way to a return of more typical winter conditions.

A fast-moving weather system, expected to strike early Thursday and persist into Friday, threatens widespread snowfall, with accumulations ranging from 10 to 20cm in many parts of Central and Eastern Ontario.

Originating from the west, the system will first impact areas around Lake Huron, gradually extending eastward and potentially starting with mixed precipitation in Deep Southwestern Ontario. This mixed weather phase might affect snowfall totals, especially in areas closer to Lake Erie, where rain is more likely.

The transition from mixed precipitation to snow could result in varied accumulations, with the Greater Toronto Area and regions near the lakeshores expecting lower totals due to the potential for rain mix.

Conversely, Central and Eastern Ontario are anticipated to bear the brunt of the snow, particularly affecting the Thursday evening commute.

The snow is expected to wind down before midnight on Thursday, however residual flurries could linger into early Friday.

The early forecast suggests a 10 to 20cm snow blanket across a swath from the Lake Huron shoreline through to Eastern Ontario, with the higher end of this range more likely in areas benefiting from lake-enhanced snowfall.

While the southern regions, including London, Hamilton, and Toronto, might see reduced totals of 5 to 10cm due to mixed precipitation, Windsor and other areas along the southern border could see less than 5cm.

The incoming system also extends its reach into the southern part of Northern Ontario, with Elliot Lake, Sudbury, and North Bay preparing for 10 to 20cm of snow.

The rest of Northeastern Ontario is bracing for 5 to 10cm, whereas Northwestern Ontario, including Thunder Bay, expects minimal impact with less than 5cm of snow.

Residents across Southern Ontario are advised to prepare for varied winter conditions, keeping abreast of weather updates as the system approaches.

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