Ontario: Intense snow squalls will bring whiteout conditions into Saturday

Digital Writers
Ontario: Intense snow squalls will bring whiteout conditions into Saturday

Though potent system that brought significant snow to southern Ontario will have tracked out of Ontario by Friday morning, lake-effect snow squalls will bring several more bursts of snow to much of the region until Saturday. A blizzard warning has been issued for Grey-Bruce and is bringing life-threatening travel conditions. More on the timing and impact of this late winter wallop, below.

WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bands of lake-effect snow will persist into Saturday with the threat for dangerous whiteouts at times
  • Keep track of active weather alerts in your area

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FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: PROLONGED SNOW SQUALLS WILL BRING DANGEROUS CONDITIONS

The week will end with several rounds of snow from the squalls that are impacting several regions of southern Ontario. These intense squalls have prompted a blizzard warning for Grey-Bruce and dangerous whiteout conditions are expected to persist off Lake Huron into Saturday morning and could bring local snowfall totals in excess of 50 cm.

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SEE ALSO: Blizzard warnings in Grey-Bruce, life-threatening travel with mega-squall

Gusts between 60-80 km/h are expected, which could reduce visibilities in open areas to less than a few hundred metres. Travel could be impossible at times and drivers are urged to turn on lights and maintain a safe following distance if visibility is poor on the roads.

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Environment Canada recommends that individuals protect themselves from the cold and the wind by staying indoors or under some type of shelter, such as a car if you are on the road during worsening conditions.

Snowfall rates under the most intense snow squall bands may reach or exceed 5 cm per hour at times. The threat for whiteout and blizzard conditions will last well into Saturday.

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"A band of lake-effect snow will slowly sink south through the northern GTA during the day on Friday with a major impact on travel along Highway 400 and 404," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "The squall will reach the 401 corridor during the afternoon on Friday and then pass through downtown Toronto during the late afternoon or evening."

This will bring quick bursts of snow and rapid changes in visibility over short distances and will have a major impact on the Friday afternoon commute for parts of the region.

According to Gillham, this will likely be the most significant lake-effect snow event of the entire season.

"This scenario brings the risk for multi-vehicle pile-ups on major highways," Gillham warns.

Check back as we continue to monitor the forecast across Ontario.