The worst of the system snow that brought a full-fledged winter storm to much of southern Ontario is over, but some travel headaches remain across the traditional snowbelt regions. Intense and dangerous lake-effect streamers will also persist for those near the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay as the blast of cold arctic air flows over the relatively warm, open waters. More on where non-essential travel is discouraged, plus a look at these record shattering cold temperatures that send us right into the heart of January, below.
- Snow squalls off Lake Huron will impact the Sarnia and London areas through Tuesday afternoon
- Another band will develop off of Georgian Bay Tuesday afternoon with heavy snow continuing into Wednesday morning
- Temperatures plummet to the minus teens Tuesday night, shattering previous low record temperatures for the region
- Additional snow flurries expected across the northern half of the Golden Horseshoe Wednesday night
- Stay up-to-date on the ALERTS in your area
The system that brought a widespread 10-20+ cm of snow across southern Ontario has continued to move eastward, but not without making a mess of several roads and major highways throughout the region first. The treacherous travel continued well into the overnight and according to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, officers responded to more than 400 crashes over a 24 hour time frame.
Emergency crews & tow trucks responded to dozens of crashes across the GTA overnight, and the morning commute may be just as bad. Most of the collisions were single vehicles into the ditch or guardrail. Many drivers seemed unprepared for winter conditions. #onstorm pic.twitter.com/A7mxXzAdR9
— Jeremy Cohn (@JeremyCohnTV) November 12, 2019
While the snow had tapered by the pre-dawn hours on Tuesday, officials were still warning drivers to leave plenty of extra time to deal with this early season wintry mess. Especially after some areas, including the city of Toronto, broke new daily snowfall records with Monday’s heavy blast. Nearly 14 cm of snow was reported at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, making it the largest amount of snowfall for the city this early in the season — on or prior to November 11.
“Please slow down and avoid the ditch. Just because you have all wheel drive and snow tires…you are still vulnerable if you are driving beyond your limits,” Sgt. Schmidt tweeted Tuesday morning.
The last of the lingering flakes in eastern Ontario early Tuesday were also enough to pull school buses from the roads, with close to 15 cm reported in the Ottawa area.
RECORD BREAKING COLD TEMPERATURES
It’s not just the snow that the region has to deal with as Tuesday morning’s frigid low temperatures are more reminiscent of the middle of January.
“Temperatures will also reach the minus teens Tuesday night, shattering the low temperature records with a wind chill near -20,” says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham, adding that some scattered flurries are possible across the Golden Horseshoe on Tuesday.
Aside from making temperatures feel even colder, Tuesday’s gusty northwest winds will once again fire up the lake-effect snow machine on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.
HIGH RISK FOR DANGEROUS SNOW SQUALLS
The cold winds blowing over the still relatively warm lakes will make for intense snow squalls for the traditional snowbelt areas through Wednesday.
“The snow squalls off Lake Huron will impact the Sarnia, Strathroy and London areas through Tuesday, with another band developing off Georgian Bay and impacting Highway 400 later in the day,” says meteorologist Kevin MacKay.
Between 20-30 cm of snow is possible near the shores of Lake Huron with 15-20 cm likely for the Georgian Bay region. Local squalls will taper off when the winds shift to the southwest on Wednesday.
“Travel may be hazardous due to sudden changes in the weather,” warns Environment Canada in the snow squall watches and warnings issued. “Road closures are possible.”
SOME ADDITIONAL SNOW WEDNESDAY NIGHT, FRIGID AIR RELAXES BRIEFLY
A period of light snow, courtesy of a weak clipper, is likely Wednesday night with a few additional centimetres of snow expected into Thursday morning for the GTA. A widespread 2-5 cm is forecast away from Lake Ontario and for much of eastern Ontario, with between 5-10 cm expected for areas east of Georgian Bay.
Temperatures will recover somewhat Thursday and into Friday — though still colder than seasonal — but with another quick blast of arctic air arriving late Friday night.
“Friday night will be quite cold and temperatures will remain below freezing through the day on Saturday despite abundant sunshine,” Gillham adds.
Digital Writers - The Weather Network