Rainfall warnings, winter storm watch called for southwestern Ontario

Heavy rain, freezing rain and ice pellets are expected for SW Ontario

More rain and thunderstorms spread through Ontario on Tuesday night, and as this wet weather persists for the rest of the week, it is expected to produce a commuting nightmare throughout southwestern Ontario on Thursday due to a miserable mix of heavy rain, freezing rain and ice pellets.

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Environment Canada rainfall warnings are attributing this week's wet weather to "a series of low pressure systems" that are expected to drop a total of 50 to 80 millimetres of rainfall from Windsor and Sarnia, east through London to Haldimand County by Thursday.

A Winter Storm Watch has been called for regions just to the north, due to a cold air-mass moving across the Great Lakes from the northwest. According to a special weather statement issued at 5:39 p.m. on Tuesday, "significant ice pellets and freezing rain are forecast to affect an area from Southern Lake Huron to Western Lake Ontario, including the Toronto area." Rain from Wednesday night is expected to switch over to freezing rain by Thursday morning, and persist as a mix of freezing rain and ice pellets, heavy at times, through late Thursday night.

The heavy rainfall is expected to reduce visibility at times and the freezing rain and ice pellets will likely produce slippery conditions that will make getting around on Thursday difficult for commuters and pedestrians alike.

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The wet weather is expected to last through until Saturday, with rain likely in during the day, switching over to mixed precipitation and snow overnight.

(Image courtesy: Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

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