Blast of snow, soaking rain, and powerful winds to see out March in Ontario
Rounds of stormy weather will see out March across much of Ontario, as an active storm track remains firmly locked into place and the winter and spring seasons continue to battle it out.
The precipitation types this week will depend on temperatures and location, but could range from everything including heavy snow and dangerous whiteout conditions, to graupel and soggy rains with strong winds.
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Snow pushes across the north Wednesday, quick blast with whiteout conditions to the south
The first round to deal with will bring a swath of 2-5+ cm of snow to parts of northern Ontario on Wednesday, as a cold pattern dominates the region this week.
A frontal squall associated with a strong cold front will race across southern and eastern Ontario on Wednesday afternoon. The precipitation could briefly start as rain, as temperatures will be quite mild ahead of the cold front, but then quickly change to graupel and a burst of heavy snow with strong winds that could create poor visibility at times. Wind gusts could reach between 50-70 km/h.
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While accumulation across the south will be less than 5 cm, with the quick burst of snow, near whiteout conditions are likely during the squall and could greatly impact travel later Wednesday.
Temperatures will also drop well below freezing behind the front, taking a fast and steady tumble from the almost double-digit highs on Wednesday afternoon.
There will be a brief break on Thursday, as conditions remain sunny and cool, but the week will then end with impacts from a Colorado low.
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March ends with heavy rain and winds, with 20-40+ cm of snow to the north
A Colorado low tracks into the Great Lakes region on Friday, bringing a widespread rain and very mild temperatures. Double-digit temperatures are likely across southern Ontario, with the potential to even reach the mid-teens in some areas for the first time this year.
The system, however, will bring in 20-40 mm of rain along with strong winds, making for a pretty miserable end to the month. With gusts between 80-100 km/h, there's a heightened risk for power outages into Saturday, especially across the Niagara region.
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During the overnight hours and into Saturday morning, a cold front moves through and could bring a quick burst of flurries before the system ends. High temperatures across southern Ontario will be recorded early in the day on Saturday.
On the north side of the system, another swath of heavy snow will push into the region extending from east of Lake Superior, including Sault Ste. Marie, across northeastern Ontario and possibly parts of the Nickel Belt. The highest uncertainty is for Sudbury and North Bay, with the potential to see a transition over to ice and rain.
The hardest hit areas will pick up 20-40 cm of snow with this system, with a major impact to travel expected along the Trans-Canada Highway.
An active pattern with changeable temperatures is expected to continue through the first week of April as a few more significant systems track across the region.
Be sure to check back for the latest weather updates across Ontario.