Southern Ontarians dealing with more snow as winter storms moves through region
A large swath of southern Ontario was hit with another blast of winter on Friday, with steady snow complicating commutes and the start of March break travel.
A storm stretched over the Greater Toronto Area through to Windsor, and Environment Canada issued snowfall alerts for Halton, Peel, Hamilton and Niagara, with regions receiving between five and 20 cm of snow.
"We are enveloped by this system right now, and that's why we see snow basically everywhere in parts of southern Ontario," Environment Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng said in an interview.
The snow that began Friday morning was expected to taper off in the northwest regions in the evening before ending overnight in the Niagara peninsula.
Driving conditions were "messy," said Cheng, urging anyone heading out to check their local conditions.
"Patience is key," he said. "The visibility on the roads is not ideal."
Ontario Provincial Police responded to collisions reported throughout regions hit by the storm, including a five-vehicle crash involving a jackknifed truck on Highway 401 west near Milton, west of Toronto.
"Roads are super slick," OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said in a video posted to Twitter. "This is not the way we wanted to kick off March break."
Schmidt urged people to stay home if they could during the storm.
"Wait for the system to pass and wait for the plows and salters to clear the (roads)," he said. "It is absolutely a skating rink on many highways right now."
Toronto's Pearson International Airport advised travellers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.
GO Transit, which serves the Greater Golden Horseshoe, cancelled and suspended various buses in the region due to weather conditions.
"We are experiencing delays across most of our GO bus network. Please consider not travelling unless it is necessary," the regional public transit operator said in a statement.
Though spring officially begins on March 20, Cheng with Environment Canada said Ontarians should not anticipate any significant rise in temperatures for at least another four weeks.
"Be prepared for wintry conditions, because we do see another (storm) system possibly for the start of the next work week as well for southern Ontario," he said.
This "active pattern" of back-to-back storms is common for this time of year, said Cheng.
"And just remember that even into early spring, into April, snowstorms are still possible and flurries are possible, certainly, in May," he said.
"So wintry weather is not done yet. Keep the boots and shovels handy and don't put them away until May."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2023.
Jessica Smith, The Canadian Press