Snow squall setup favours hefty totals for parts of southern Ontario

·3 min read
Snow squall setup favours hefty totals for parts of southern Ontario
Snow squall setup favours hefty totals for parts of southern Ontario

Southern Ontario is about to get a tad chilly, though short-lived, with a blast of modified Arctic air set to infiltrate the region to start the week off. As a result, combined with strong northerly winds moving over the still-warm Great Lakes, lake-effect snow squalls are expected to flourish near Lake Huron and Georgian Bay by early Monday morning. Motorists should be mindful, as poor visibility is anticipated due to quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Some areas could see 15-30 cm by the time they subside Tuesday. Beyond, temperatures will moderate by mid-week after the lake-effect snow machine shuts down. More on timing and impacts, and how soon the squalls will develop and cause travel woes, below.

SUNDAY: SYSTEM BRINGS RAIN TO THE SOUTH, SNOW TO THE NORTH

Within the warm sector, much of southern and central Ontario will see light rain or scattered showers late Sunday afternoon into the evening as a system tracks in. Amounts will be quite minor, with less than 5 mm expected.

ONTARIO
ONTARIO

Across northeastern Ontario, widespread snow associated with the cold front continues, lingering into Monday, with bursts of 5-15 cm possible.

As the system tracks farther east, a blast of modified Arctic air will flood the Great Lakes, allowing for the development of lake-effect snow squalls late Sunday night into Monday.

MONDAY/TUESDAY: DIFFICULT TRAVEL AS POTENT SNOW SQUALLS DEVELOP

A winter weather travel advisory and special weather statements are in place for parts of cottage country and southern Ontario, respectively, ahead of the impending development of lake-effect snow squalls.

The potential is there for snow squalls to develop off Georgian Bay and Lake Huron early Monday morning and continue through Tuesday afternoon for areas near the latter. The strongest bands are expected near Lake Huron on Monday, then expected to move southward in the overnight period.

squall
squall

Winds will be gusting between 50-60+ km out of the west and northwest, with the worst conditions expected early Monday morning into the afternoon hours, across southern Ontario.

"Concern is there for a snow band to develop and intensify as there is the chance that winds align out of the northwest over both Lake Superior and Lake Huron, allowing for an intense squall to form and move inland, impacting the snowbelts," said Jessie Uppal, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Less intense snow squalls are possible Tuesday morning before weakening to flurries Tuesday afternoon. Locally, 15-30 cm of snow can be expected within these more potent bands.

These snow squalls are expected to develop in the wake of a cold front and will bring rapidly accumulating snowfall along with reduced visibilities at times. Strong winds near the shores of Georgian Bay will also aid in reduced visibilities due to blowing snow.

onsnow
onsnow

"Travel may be hazardous due to sudden changes in the weather. Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop," Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) says in the winter weather travel advisory.

It also cautions that surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.

LOOK AHEAD: TEMPERATURE RECOVERY MID-WEEK, FOLLOWED BY MORE UNSETTLED WEATHER

The chilly air mass will not be locked in place for very long, as seasonal temperatures return to the region by Wednesday.

However, more unsettled weather is possible again late week, but mostly likely some showers, followed by somewhat cooler, but near seasonal, temperatures.

Be sure to check back for updates on the forecast in Ontario.

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