Winter storm to throw everything at Ontario on Thursday and Friday

Winter storm to throw everything at Ontario on Thursday and Friday
Winter storm to throw everything at Ontario on Thursday and Friday

A winter storm creeping into Ontario on Thursday and Friday will bring a little bit of everything to the province to end the week.

We’ll see a messy mix of rain, snow, freezing rain, and ice pellets spread across Ontario through the day Thursday before a widespread changeover to snow to start our Friday.

This wintry grab-bag will lead to slick roads and periods of risky travel across the region.

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This week’s system will start pushing into southern Ontario through the morning hours on Thursday, with precipitation arriving in far southwestern Ontario before dawn and reaching the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) toward the latter half of the morning commute.

Precipitation Type Explainer
Precipitation Type Explainer

The wintry mix will push north of the GTA around lunchtime, spreading over the region through the remaining afternoon hours.

Easterly winds off Lake Ontario will keep Toronto proper right around that critical freezing mark, with the region teetering on the line between plain old rain and a wintry mix. Precipitation should remain rain along the QEW between Toronto and Hamilton.

OntarioIce
OntarioIce

North and west of the GTA, however, we’ll see an extended period of icing from freezing rain and ice pellets through Thursday afternoon. The best chance for ice accretion will fall on top of the Niagara Escarpment.

Use extreme caution in areas that experience freezing rain. Even a thin glaze of ice can make roads, sidewalks, stairs, and driveways slippery.

Many of the same areas will see accumulating ice pellets, as well, with heavier totals possible west of Milton and Oakville.

Precipitation will reach eastern Ontario by Thursday evening, falling as a wintry mix north of Lake Ontario, while temperatures are cold enough for mostly snow around the National Capital Region and west into cottage country.

OntarioFriAM
OntarioFriAM

Shifting winds behind the system will allow for periods of snow to cover much of southern and eastern Ontario overnight Thursday into Friday morning. This snow will reach down to the lakeshore in the GTA, bringing a few centimetres of accumulation by Friday morning.

The greatest snow totals are likely in eastern Ontario, where 10-15+ cm of snow could fall through Friday. We’ll generally see totals of 5 cm or less toward the GTA. There is still some uncertainty in the location of the heaviest swath of snow, with the storm’s track dictating where that snow will set up.

ONSnow
ONSnow

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Look ahead: Watching for winter's comeback for the final days of January and early February

For the final week of January and early February, it looks like the region will be the battleground between much colder weather to the west versus mild weather to the south and east. This should result in changeable temperatures, including the potential for several days of rather cold weather later next week.

This also sets the stage for an active storm track across the region, with messy systems that will bring heavy snow, ice and possibly rain.

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Check back in with The Weather Network for the latest forecasts across Ontario.