Ontario: Heavy, wet snow puts a treacherous spin on the morning commute

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Ontario: Heavy, wet snow puts a treacherous spin on the morning commute

The return to school and work following the Family Day long weekend is a difficult one as some overnight snow made a mess of the roads and winter weather travel advisories cover southern Ontario. Drivers are being warned to leave plenty of extra time with a threat for some light freezing rain before the snow transitions over to rain by late morning. More on the timing and impact, below.

WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Messy system threatens snow, rain/snow mix, showers through Tuesday morning
  • Winter weather travel advisory issued across central, eastern Ontario that warn of 10 to 15 cm of snow
  • Stay up-to-date on the ALERTS in your area

THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING: DANGEROUS WINTER TRAVEL WITH HEAVY, WET SNOW

The low pressure system that began tracking through southern Ontario on Monday evening brought a swath of heavy snow during the overnight hours, with snowfall rates of 1-3 cm falling into the start of the Tuesday morning commute.

Snowfall totals in the Greater Toronto Area will be limited because of the quick changeover to rain through the late morning hours, though with a chance for some light freezing rain during that transition.

"Much of the GTA will see between 5-8+ cm of snow, including the 401/407 corridor, but 2-5 cm are expected near the north shore of Lake Ontario," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "The Niagara region will see a large range in accumulation from a trace near the Niagara River to 5-7 cm for Hamilton Mountain."

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Winter weather travel advisories span the region, warning of the snowfall and the potential for poor winter driving conditions with low visibility at times.

"Motorists are advised to allow extra time to reach their destination," Environment Canada says in the advisory.

WATCH: SNOW PILES UP QUICKLY EARLY TUESDAY MORNING

Weather advisories are also in place across Muskoka, Algonquin, and the Ottawa region with heavier snowfall amounts near 15 cm possible near Algonquin Park and the Ottawa River through the day as the system continues to push eastwards.

The snow will taper by Tuesday evening as the warm front crosses the region and temperatures rise to near the freezing mark.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: WINTER WEATHER WHIPLASH AS TEMPERATURES SOAR

As the winter mess from the morning hours winds down, daytime highs will soar well above the freezing mark across the south. That dash of milder weather however, will be short-lived as colder conditions return by Tuesday night and into Wednesday.

"So any standing water or leftover slush will turn to ice," Gillham warns.

WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: COLDER WEATHER BRIEFLY RETURNS

Another shot of arctic air will dominate the region through Thursday, though it won't be as cold as the frigid blast that ended last week.

Narrow bands of lake-effect snow will also persist across the tranditional snow belt areas southeast of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron through Thursday.

LOOK AHEAD: MILDER PACIFIC AIR GIVES EARLY TASTE OF SPRING

The wild weather ride doesn't stop there as milder Pacific air will spread back into southern Ontario on Friday.

"This weekend will feel like early spring with a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures several degrees above seasonal," Gillham says. "The mild pattern will also continue into early next week."

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