Parts of Ontario may see 30+ cm of snow from unyielding lake-effect setup

Digital Writers
·3 min read
Parts of Ontario may see 30+ cm of snow from unyielding lake-effect setup
Parts of Ontario may see 30+ cm of snow from unyielding lake-effect setup

The lake-effect setup in Ontario is refusing to ease in the snowbelt regions, with more bands of squalls pushing through Sunday. The cold temperatures and strong winds whipping across the open, warm waters of the Great Lakes are providing the perfect conditions. Some areas east of Georgian Bay could see 30+ cm of snow locally through Monday morning. Meanwhile, rest of southern Ontario will enjoy a relatively quiet Sunday after a quick burst of snow pushed through in the early morning. However, temperatures will be quite cold, with daytime highs no warmer than the minus single digits, with wind chills making conditions feel much chillier. A closer look at the persistent snow squalls and what's ahead for Sunday and beyond, below.


  • Southern Ontario clears out after quick burst of snow, squalls linger in snowbelt regions, may bring 30+ cm locally

  • Slightly active pattern to start next week

  • Very cold second half of the week


The snow has ended for southern areas of Ontario, as it was a short-lived burst Sunday, allowing for fair conditions and bitter temperatures the rest of the day.

However, the lake-effect snow machine is continuing to push out more bands across the traditional snowbelt regions in Ontario, possibly bringing 30+ cm locally. Snow squall warnings and watches, and a weather advisory, are in place.


Locally heavy snow squalls developed again Sunday morning as strong west-northwest winds have come to fruition. The squalls are then expected to continue through the overnight before weakening on Monday morning.

"Winds will whip up the freshly fallen snow resulting in sudden near zero visibility in blowing snow. Dangerous winter driving conditions are expected today and tonight, particularly along parts of Highway 400 and Highway 11 between Orillia and Bracebridge. Motorists are advised to adjust their travel plans accordingly," Environment Canada says in the snow squall warning for the Barrie-Orillia-Midland region.

Winds will also be somewhat gusty, reaching 35-45 km/h in the south, possibly higher along Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, resulting in reduced visibility with blowing snow.

Temperature-wise, an important lobe of the polar vortex this winter has migrated over parts of Central Canada and is bringing some very cold temperatures to Ontario, including the south, featuring some very cold temperatures and wind chills Sunday.

Daytime highs will drop to the upper minus single digits Sunday, though some areas could drop to the double digits, but the wind chill will make it feel several degrees cooler than that.



Earlier forecasts had pegged the polar vortex to extend further south, bringing a considerable drop in temperatures next week, but there's been a significant change in the expected pattern: It now appears warmer air to the south will fight back for a couple of days, so the Arctic boundary will be much further north and closer to the region than initially expected.

As a result, temperatures will not be as cold as forecast, and lake-effect snow will diminish. It will still be decidedly wintry, however, with daytime highs firmly below zero, feeling colder than -10 with the wind chill – still dangerous for the ill-prepared.

Frost bite graphic
Frost bite graphic

We will also see a more active pattern, as we will be closer to the storm track.

"However, we are uncertain if we will see a couple of weak systems early next week or one stronger storm. Either way, it should be a snowy start to the week," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham.

Arctic air will then take over during the second half of the week, with lake-effect snow squalls resuming and our coldest temperatures of the season.

Be sure to check back for the latest on the winter weather in Ontario.