Toronto continues to see snow but 'hints' of spring are in sight

A woman trudges along on the sidewalk in the midst of a heavy snowfall in Toronto, Ont. on Jan. 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin

The most active weather pattern this week is centered around Toronto, with 8 to 12 cm of snow expected in the city on Wednesday.

“Most of it is coming tomorrow…it’s also going to be cold, so it’s all snow,” Brett Anderson, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather told Yahoo News Canada.

Areas west of the city, around Hamilton, Niagara and St. Catharines, Ont., could see over 15 cm of snow over the same time period.

The precipitation will quickly make roads slippery Wednesday morning, but this fast-moving system shouldn’t cause any extreme delays for evening Toronto commuters, with some trickier travel expected west of the city.

“During the afternoon after some treatment and also late February sun, I think the roads won’t be quite as bad, especially main roads, tomorrow afternoon,” Anderson said. “This is not going to be a storm where it’s coming down super hard so…the road crews should be able to keep up with it.”

With temperatures expected to be around -6 C, -7 C in the evening, there is potential for some continued snowfall, but the brunt of the precipitation should conclude before Thursday morning.

Frigid temperatures

Aside from the snow, the cold temperatures across Canada may be the most significant story for Canadians, primarily around the Prairies.

“The cold is dominating across most of the country,” Anderson said. “That’s going to be the case certainly through this weekend and a good part of next week.”

Over the next week, temperatures in the Prairies are expected to average anywhere from 8 to 15 C below normal across Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, extreme southern Manitoba and parts of central British Columbia.

Temperatures have been so cold in these areas that Calgary and Edmonton have averaged almost 13 C below normal so far in February. In Calgary, there has not been one day this month that has averaged above normal, according to AccuWeather.

“That is extreme cold,” Anderson said. “That is pretty incredible, you don’t see that this often…and this is going to continue here.”

But the end of the cold weather is in sight. According to Anderson, temperatures will start to get back to normal around March 10, introducing “gradual hints of spring” into our weather forecasts.

“After the tenth, we’re seeing indications that the big high [over Alaska] is going to break down and eventually be replaced by a low,” Anderson said. “That will actually send more Pacific air across Southern Canada and cut off the Arctic air.”