Winter storm begins in Ottawa with a snowfall warning in effect

Pedestrians on a snowy Bank Street in Ottawa in February 2021. (Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)
Pedestrians on a snowy Bank Street in Ottawa in February 2021. (Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)

Snow is falling in Ottawa as most of eastern Ontario remains under a snowfall warning Wednesday and Thursday, with 15 to 20 centimetres of snow expected as a winter storm moves from west to east.

Only Renfrew County and the Bancroft area are spared from the warnings, which also cover Gatineau.

Snow started falling early in the afternoon around Belleville and is predicted to end Thursday morning.

Further east, including in Kingston and Ottawa, snow started later in the afternoon and is expected to stretch further into Thursday morning.

Vikta Paulo/CBC
Vikta Paulo/CBC

In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, OC Transpo listed a number of bus stops that were out of service because of road conditions.

On Wednesday night, the agency warned riders that transit services would likely be delayed Thursday morning.

And some flights out of Ottawa airport have been cancelled, so make sure to check before heading to the airport.

"There will be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas. Allow extra time to reach your destination," Environment Canada said.

Ottawa has a parking ban for most people on most streets from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Kingston is piloting a similar ban until March.

Renfrew County and Bancroft have weather advisories for about 10 centimetres of snow Wednesday afternoon and night.

It's been a warmer than average autumn and winter in Ottawa. Much of the snow that has fallen to date has melted.

Environment Canada
Environment Canada

As of Tuesday, Ottawa's main airport reported about 140 centimetres of snow in the last six weeks or so, but only 22 centimetres of snow on the ground.

Ottawa has a forecasted high of –8 C Wednesday that's expected to rise to –5 C by Thursday morning and then fall to –15 C Thursday night.

The temperature swings continue: Saturday's forecasted high is 1 C and its forecasted low is –18 C. Next week, which is the first week of Winterlude, may see the first days this year that daytime highs don't warm past –10 C.