A potent Colorado low brought heavy rain, strong winds and snow to parts of Ontario Wednesday -- and while that system begins to ease, the focus now shifts to another winter-like storm looming for the weekend. More on the timing and impacts of this weekend system that threatens slick conditions with freezing rain for the start of December, below.
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- The powerful wind gusts that triggered outages and flooding in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent Wednesday will ease for Thursday
- Second Colorado low will bring freezing rain, ice pellets and snow late Saturday night
- Cold pattern locks in for early December
- Stay up-to-date on the ALERTS in your area
IMPACTS OF WEDNESDAY'S POWERFUL WINDS
A Colorado low pushing through Ontario was responsible for the mix of precipitation types and some powerful winds across parts of the region on Wednesday.
The leading edge of the system crept into southwestern Ontario through the pre-dawn hours, eventually leading to several power outages and flooding across Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. Powerful winds gusting between 70 and 90 km/h were strong enough to knock down massive trees that torn down power lines, CBC News reported.
A massive tree got knocked down in the backyard of a home on Prince Road due to strong winds. The homeowner, Chris Williams, believes it happened just a few hours ago. He says he and his neigbours are currently experiencing power outages which is expected to last several hours.Tahmina Aziz on Twitter
Wind has already displaced water inland at the Port Colburne hospital. #onwx #onstorm https://t.co/3fVDuITWwmAnton Falco on Twitter
Meanwhile, gusts closest to the shores of lakes Erie and Ontario had the potential to reach anywhere from 90 to 100 km/h.
LAKE ERIE'S DESTRUCTIVE NATURE COULD BE A NEW NORMAL GOING FORWARD:
HEAVY SNOW IN THE NORTH
Heavy snow north of the low's track threatened as much as 30 cm for some areas north of Lake Huron and across the Nickel Belt through early Thursday.
Drivers were urged to use caution for potential impacts to travel along the Trans Canada Highway -- where not only heavy snow and strong winds would be possible, but the potential for some freezing rain or ice pellets.
Environment Canada (EC) issued a winter storm warning with heavy and local blowing snow expected through Wednesday evening and school buses were pulled early across Sudbury, Sault St. Marie, North Bay and Timmins.
"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve," EC warned.
Arctic air wrapping around behind the low pressure centre however, will mean a big temperature drop across much of the south between Wednesday and Thursday.
While highs are set to climb into the low teens for the southwest, and potentially the GTA, Thursday afternoon will be back down near freezing across the board.
That, combined with continuing winds from the northwest, will bring the potential for some wrap-around and lake-effect snow through Thursday. Friday will be a much calmer day, but temperatures will remain a few degrees below seasonal.
NEXT MESSY WINTER SYSTEM ARRIVES THIS WEEKEND
As we move to the weekend and the start of December on a Sunday, a winter-like storm is expected to track into southern Ontario, thanks to an unusually powerful bomb cyclone that crashed into the west coast this week.
"Late Saturday night and early Sunday, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow will develop across our region and continue into Sunday afternoon," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "North and east of Toronto, most of the precipitation is expected to fall as snow with 5 to 10 cm of accumulation expected."
Snow totals will remain lower to the west and south of Toronto as the precipitation falls as ice pellets and freezing rain.
"Still, untreated surfaces will become icy and hazardous, but ice accumulation will not be heavy enough to cause problems for trees and powerlines," Gillham says. Be sure to check back for updates as the forecast details of this storm will change over the week.
A colder and more wintry pattern also looks to lock in for the second week of December.