Spring shows its true colours in Ontario with threats of rain, snow and ice

The calendar now officially says spring, and while thoughts of blooms and warmer weather are in the air, winter won't go without a fight. As we know, spring is a transitional season and the battle between the cold and warm will be ongoing. In fact, that battleground will sit over the Great Lakes region for the next week at least.

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Three different systems will bring rain, snow and even freezing rain to different areas over the next seven days.

Temperatures will be seeing a nice bump in the south mid-week, but there will be a rainy cost to it. Meanwhile, parts of northern Ontario will have to break out the shovels once again after last week's sizable dumping of snow.

Round 1

The first system arrives Wednesday into Thursday.

Northern Ontario can expect 5-15 cm of snow beginning Wednesday morning and continuing eastward across the north throughout the day. A wet rain/snow mix is likely right along the shores of Lake Superior.

Baron - ON snow - Mar21
Baron - ON snow - Mar21

Across southern Ontario, this will be widespread rain, beginning Wednesday evening, and spreading eastward through the day Thursday. Generally, between 10-15 mm of rain is expected across much of southern Ontario, but up to 20 mm is likely through southwestern Ontario. There is even the potential of a weak thunderstorm developing.

Temperatures will reach the double digits across southern Ontario in the warm sector of the low, with some daytime highs reaching into the mid-teens on Thursday in the extreme southwest.

The relative warmth and rain are expected to extend as far north as Sault Ste. Marie over to Sudbury by Thursday morning.

Baron - ON rain - Mar21
Baron - ON rain - Mar21

A brief period of freezing rain is likely through the Ottawa Valley and St. Lawrence River overnight Wednesday into early Thursday morning, before changing to a straight rain.

Round 2

There's another system on course for the weekend that could bring rain and snow for southern areas. This system is expected to track farther south, pulling in cooler air on the northern side. That means this time snow to start across southern Ontario, then changing to rain Saturday afternoon, then back to snow as the system departs Saturday night.

Round 3

Quick on the heels of the weekend system will be the third low. This looks to move in for early next week.

Baron - jet stream - Mar21
Baron - jet stream - Mar21

"Much like the previous two systems, there will be snow to the north and rain across the south. Just how far north the rain pushes is still to be fine-tuned," says Nadine Powell, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "And with each system, you can expect gusty winds to accompany their passage."

Safe to say, spring is only just getting started, and so too is the battle for warmth. Changeable temperatures are expected for the final days of March through early April, with no sustained warm weather really in sight.

Stay tuned to The Weather Network as we continue to update this week's forecast for Ontario.