Those in parts of Central Canada looking to do some travelling on Christmas Day may need to think twice, with a bout of icy precipitation expected to coat roads in the morning hours Saturday, so conditions will be less than ideal amid slippery roads. Freezing rain warnings span eastern Ontario and spill over into parts of Quebec as a potent low-pressure system tracks in, with a warm front spoiling any chances of a white Christmas in southern areas of the former. Mild temperatures, rain and morning fog will greet southern Ontario Saturday. Boxing Day will give southern Ontario a break before another system moves in with unsettled weather for early next week. Details and timing, below.
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SATURDAY: MILD TEMPERATURES, RAIN MEANS GREEN CHRISTMAS FOR MANY, ICE COULD IMPACT TRAVEL
Many in southern and eastern Ontario, as well as parts of southern Quebec, will awake to either a foggy or icy Christmas morning. The warm front that's a part of the low-pressure system is tracking across southern Ontario, meaning mild temperatures and a rainy day on Saturday. Any snow remaining on the ground will quickly melt with the warmer temperatures and rain.
As well, the morning will begin with dense fog in southern Ontario. Special weather statements in place, warning that locally dense fog is expected to persist into this morning. Periods of rain may help lessen the fog in some areas.Motorists are advised to exercise caution.
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can expect highs around the mid-single digits, while highs will hover close to the 10-degree mark toward Windsor. Eastern areas of the province and southern Quebec will be much chillier, with daytime highs in the minus single digits.
Farther north, though, the cold air is battling against the warmth. The warm front hits this stubborn air at the surface, the warmer air aloft will cause the precipitation to fall as freezing rain and ice pellets. In southern Quebec, this means a light dusting of snow Saturday.
Freezing rain is forecast to continue in northeastern Ontario, cottage country and eastern sections of Ontario for a few more hours Saturday morning before transitioning to periods of rain or drizzle.
The Ottawa Valley and portions of western Quebec will see precipitation in the form of light snow or ice pellets before switching to freezing rain early Saturday morning. This freezing rain will continue for a few hours before transitioning to light freezing drizzle in afternoon. A couple millimetres of ice accretion will be possible.
Freezing rain warnings and freezing drizzle advisories are still in place but will drop through the day once temperatures rise and precipitation changes. The timing of this system couldn’t be worse for folks who have travel plans across the region.
“Untreated roads may become slippery and drivers are urged to exercise caution,” ECCC said in the freezing rain warning. "Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Take extra care when walking or driving in affected areas. Ice buildup may cause tree branches to break."
SUNDAY AND BEYOND: AN APPROACHING STORM CLASHES AGAINST STUBBORN COLD AIR
Sunday will bring Ontario and Quebec a quick break from active weather before the next system arrives.
A Colorado low will reach the Great Lakes region on Monday, bringing a messy mix of snow, rain, and ice to southern Ontario.
Temperatures will remain slightly above-seasonal for much of next week as a steady pattern keeps winter’s chill confined to Western Canada. A slight shift in the pattern could bring chillier weather into Eastern Canada for the new year.
Stay with The Weather Network as we update the forecast in Ontario and Quebec.