Whiteouts possible as gusty winds spray snow over southern Ontario

·2 min read
Whiteouts possible as gusty winds spray snow over southern Ontario
Whiteouts possible as gusty winds spray snow over southern Ontario

Snow squall warnings are in effect along the shores of Lake Huron as gusty winds set up a classic lake-effect snow event across the region. Whiteout conditions are possible at times, which could lead to significant disruptions and flat-out dangerous travel conditions over short distances on Wednesday. A clipper system will bring more snow to southern Ontario on Thursday before a warm-up in time for Christmas. More on the timing and details, below.

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2022 for an in-depth look at the Winter Forecast, tips to plan for it, and much more!

WEDNESDAY: WHITEOUT CONDITIONS POSSIBLE AS SNOW SQUALL SETS UP

Strong northwesterly winds behind a departing clipper system will set the stage for an intense band of snow off of Lake Huron to spread over parts of southern Ontario.

ON Snow Squalls
ON Snow Squalls

Gusty winds of 60-80 km/h will drive a band of snow across the Huron shores, where snow squall warnings are in effect for the day on Wednesday. Whiteout conditions are possible beneath the snow squall. Conditions can change rapidly over short distances.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) warned that southern Bruce and Grey Counties could experience dangerous travel conditions when the snow squalls spread over the area.

ON Highway Danger Zones
ON Highway Danger Zones

“Snow squalls cause weather conditions to vary considerably; changes from clear skies to heavy snow within just a few kilometres are common. Travel is expected to be hazardous due to reduced visibility in some locations. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions,” ECCC said in its warning.

Communities under the snow squall could see 10-20 cm of snow by the end of the day, with locally higher amounts possible.

The squall is forecast to meander through the day, so it's best to stay on top of the latest forecast if you are commuting for work or have any early holiday travel plans.

ON Snow Wed
ON Snow Wed

Winds will be strong enough on Wednesday that the snow squall could poke into the Greater Toronto Area, bringing minor accumulations as it passes through. Bands of snow could set up on the eastern shores of Georgian Bay, as well, bringing minor accumulations to the Barrie area.

The squall will begin to weaken and dissipate through Wednesday evening.

LOOK AHEAD: GREEN CHRISTMAS THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO FOR THE SOUTH

Another clipper system will spread over southern Ontario on Thursday, bringing widespread snowfall to the region. We could see 2-5 cm of snow from the system.

ON Snow Thu
ON Snow Thu

Unfortunately for folks who are dreaming of a white Christmas, Thursday’s snow isn’t likely to stick around for very long.

Another system will approach the region Friday night through early Saturday. The best chance for snow with this upcoming system will appear in eastern Ontario. While there is still some uncertainty with the messy late-week system, rain and mild temperatures appear to be the most likely scenario for the GTA and areas south and west of Toronto.

Check back for the latest on Ontario’s holiday forecast.

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