Major winter storm buries Eastern Canada, with more on the way


A powerful, fast-moving storm that spun-up in eastern Texas on Christmas Day and spawned dozens of tornadoes and caused as many as 15 deaths in the U.S., dumped even more snow on regions of eastern Ontario and southern Quebec that had already dug themselves out from heavy snows last week.

In southwestern Ontario, which had been spared any significant winter weather up to this point, residents had their Boxing Day shopping cut short as the storm pushed in from over the lakes in the early evening. Snow fell at a rate of about 1-2 cm per hour in some areas and high winds whipped up that snow, complicating the travel plans of many who were trying get back home after Christmas. The high winds and snow continued overnight building accumulations to 10-15 cm across the region, with some areas getting up to 30 cm by morning.

[ Related: Winter storm brings blustery blast to southern Quebec ]

Eastern Ontario and southern Quebec got it even worse starting late last night, with snowfall rates of up to 5 cm per hour at times. Dozens of flights were delayed or canceled at Ottawa's Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and Montreal-Trudeau Airport due to heavy snow and high winds. Environment Canada has issued snowfall and winter storm warnings for these regions, forecasting up to 25 cm of snow for in and around the city of Ottawa, and up to 50 cm of snow for Montreal and areas along the St. Lawrence River, with strong winds reaching up to 90 km/h at times. Snowfall rates in the Ottawa and Montreal areas appear to have tapered off to a more moderate 1-2 cm per hour as of this afternoon, but the snow is likely to continue there tonight and into tomorrow morning.

[ Related: Winter storm brings snow and rain to U.S. Northeast ]

This wide-ranging storm is also dumping significant amounts of snow on eastern Quebec, and southern New Brunswick, and a mix of rain and snow on southern Nova Scotia this afternoon. Environment Canada forecasts and weather warnings predict between 20 and 50 cm of snow for Quebec City and much of New Brunswick, and a messy mix of snow, ice pellets and rain for Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia for today, tonight and tomorrow. The storm should also dump up to 10 cm of snow on Newfoundland before changing over to rain later tomorrow.

The entire system should have passed by Friday night, but it doesn't look like we're going to be getting much of a break, as another storm looks to be brewing in the southern U.S. that could give us another hit over the weekend.

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