A significant winter storm is targeting Ontario and Quebec with widespread heavy snow and blustery winds, which will likely lead to treacherous travel by Tuesday morning as the system will be in full swing. Far-reaching totals of 15-35 cm span southern Ontario and Quebec through the day Tuesday and many communities could be in for their heaviest snowfall totals of the winter so far. Details and timing, below.
Heavy snow expected from a potent U.S. system will clip Ontario and Quebec through Tuesday
15-35 cm of snow widespread across both provinces
Potential for another late-week significant snowfall event
TUESDAY: HEAVY IMPACTS FROM SNOWSTORM IN ONTARIO, QUEBEC
A potent low pressure system that has brought significant impacts to the U.S. will bring heavy snow across southern Ontario and Quebec. Strong northeasterly winds near 50 km/h will be noticeable along the shores of Lake Erie, which will create blowing snow and reduce visibilities.
Dangerous road conditions are possible on Tuesday morning, particularly along Highway 401 from Windsor to Ottawa, the QEW extending from Simcoe to Hamilton, Highway 400 from Toronto Barrie, as well as Highway 410.
The heavy snow will ease by late Tuesday morning, with lingering flurries possible through midday. The snow will taper from west to east into the afternoon hours.
Forecast models have gravitated towards higher snowfall totals in parts of southern Ontario by Tuesday. Widespread totals of 15-20 cm are anticipated for the south including the GTA, which includes accumulations from the Sunday night system.
Higher amounts are expected in the Niagara region, where 25-35 cm is possible, and the southwestern and eastern areas, where up to 25 cm may fall.
The Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton says that this could be “perhaps the largest snowstorm of the winter season for the GTA with pockets over 20 cm, especially as you move towards Hamilton and the escarpment, where we are looking at 30 cm of snowfall right through Tuesday morning.”
POWERFUL WINTER STORM HAS EYES SET ON QUEBEC:
In Quebec, the same storm is expected to bring widespread snowfall accumulations of 15-20 cm in southern areas including Montreal. Areas south of the St. Lawrence River could see 20+ cm. Intense wind gusts are likely to cause blowing snow along the St. Lawrence, reducing visibility on the roads with major implications for travel.
As with Ontario, the heaviest snowfall will have peaked overnight into early Tuesday morning for southern areas, including Montreal and Eastern Townships, but with plenty of snow still to come. Widespread snowfall warnings in place.
There is a slight risk of ice pellets to mix in with snow heading into the late afternoon hours on Tuesday for the Eastern Townships along the U.S. border.
Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. There may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas.
“Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow,” Environment Canada says in the snowfall warning for Gatineau. The snow will taper off in Quebec during the late evening and overnight hours.
LOOK AHEAD: POSSIBLE LATE-WEEK STORM
Beyond, forecasters are eyeing a late-week system. While there's currently low confidence in the snow forecast, it'll still be a storm to keep an eye on as the week progresses, The Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham says.
As of now, the system could bring a widespread 10-15 cm of snow to southern Ontario, though the forecast is subject to change.
"If this storm verifies, our seven-day snowfall totals for parts of southern Ontario could be rather impressive with the parade of storms," says Gillham.
At this point, it looks like near-normal or colder than normal temperatures will dominate for the final week of February.
Be sure to check back for the latest on the winter weather in Ontario.
Thumbnail credit: Stephen Warner, Burlington, Ontario