Safe to say Ontario has had a relatively relaxed winter so far in terms of temperatures. Well, that's about to change. Much of the wicked cold has been focused on Westen Canada, but the Arctic air that has been hovered there is moving eastward in the coming days, set to deliver some of the coldest temperatures for Central and Eastern Canada so far this season. Not only will people need to bundle up in extra layers, many in the snowbelt regions will also need their shovels as the lake-effect machine will rev up with another round of snow squalls Monday, potentially lingering into Tuesday. More on how cold it will get with the impending cold snap and the duration for it, as well as who will see the snow squalls, below.
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In addition to the incoming cold, there will be multiple chances of snow in Ontario this weekend. On Saturday, a low-pressure system tracking across northern Ontario will continue to bring widespread light snowfall to the region. Generally, 5-10 cm is expected.
A light dusting of snow may push into parts of the southern areas late evening into the overnight period, but no accumulations expected. It may also bring light showers for the shorelines of lakes Erie and Ontario in the pre-dawn hours into early Sunday morning.
The winds will be more of a story this weekend. Gusting between 40-60 km/h Saturday out of the southwest. They will become westerly by Sunday, with strong gusts of 60-70+ km/h developing along the lakeshores.
Sunday night will see a strong cold front crossing the region, so will winds will remain blustery into Monday morning -- though more of a northwest wind direction -- and will work in conjunction with a much cooler, Arctic air mass, allowing for lake-effect snow squalls to develop and continue well into Monday, possibly into Tuesday.
Snow squalls will impact tge traditional snowbelt regions with the heaviest amounts of snow and locally low visibilities. However, some of these snow bands may meander into parts of the Golden Horseshoe at times.
Some of the coldest weather of the season in southern Ontario so far arrives early next week, particularly Monday overnight into Tuesday morning, as we may see a low temperature of -20°C in Toronto. With the wind chills, daytime highs and overnight lows will feel much colder.
High temperatures will only be near the -20s on Tuesday for Ottawa, with overnight lows reaching the -30s outside of urban areas.
"However, this will be a quick shot of frigid weather as temperatures will quickly rebound back to near or above seasonal -- above freezing for southern Ontario -- Wednesday and Thursday," says Dr. Doug Gillham, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
There's the potential for more consistent winter weather for the third week of January, but a rather mild pattern is expected to return before the end of January once again.
"The quiet pattern will continue through next week. We could see the pattern turn more active/unsettled around next weekend, but it is too early to have confidence in exact storm track and impacts," Gillham adds.
Be sure to check back for the latest weather conditions in Ontario.