Blizzard Warning – Wind Chill Warning – Snow Squalls

Dangerous blizzard conditions later today and tonight.

 

Strengthening northwesterly winds are quickly blasting in bitterly cold Arctic air today in the wake of an intense winter storm that is moving across the Renfrew area into Southern Quebec. Flurries off of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay will intensify into frequent strong snow squalls by this afternoon across the regions. Many of the snow squalls will extend quite far inland as the winds become quite strong and gusty. Local snowfall amounts of 15 to 30 cm are quite possible in snow squalls by Tuesday morning.

 

A combination of the dangerous snow squalls with extreme wind chills of minus 35 to minus 40 will produce frequent blizzard conditions this afternoon and tonight. Frequent to widespread very low to nil visibilities with near whiteout conditions are expected especially in exposed areas during the snow squalls.

 
The combination of a fresh heavy snowfall from last night’s storm with intense snow squalls today with bitter wind chills poses a life-threatening risk for anyone outside for any duration, or stranded in vehicles if roads become snow-blocked. Travellers need to ensure they have an adequate car emergency kit and ample fuel if travelling any distance.

 

The blizzard conditions will slowly ease somewhat on Tuesday although the snow squalls and blowing snow are likely to continue in many areas.Dangerous snow squalls developing Monday producing near blizzard conditions. Combined with extreme wind chills, this may become potentially life-threatening if anyone becomes stranded in vehicles on snow-blocked highways.

 

In the wake of the storm centre, bitterly cold west to northwest winds will result in the development of intense snow squalls southeast of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 cm are forecast over a large area Monday as the winds carry the squalls far inland and are forecast to shift during the day. Very low visibilities are likely with near whiteout conditions under the most intense snow bands.

 

These cold brisk winds are expected to produce widespread dangerous wind chills of minus 30 to minus 35 beginning late Monday. The combination of a fresh heavy snowfall from tonight’s storm with intense snow squalls on Monday with bitter wind chills poses a life-threatening risk for anyone outside for any duration, or stranded in vehicles if roads become snow-blocked. Travellers need to ensure they have an adequate car emergency kit and ample fuel if travelling any distance.

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Snowfall Warning for Southern Ontario

15 to 20 cm snowfall today and tonight.

 

An intensifying low over Arkansas will be heading towards Southern Ontario today. A band of light snow currently lying across the region will be replaced by heavy snow this afternoon over Extreme Southwestern Ontario and east of Lake Huron. The heavy snow is forecast to reach areas east of Georgian Bay early this evening.

 

Northwest of a line from roughly Leamington to Stratford to Barrie to Pembroke, total snowfall amounts of 15 to 20 cm are expected before the snow tapers off overnight into early Monday morning. 20 to 25 cm may be possible locally under the heaviest snow. Blowing and drifting snow will also be likely tonight and Monday due to blistery winds associated with the storm.

 

Southeast of this line amounts will be limited as the snow is forecast to change to rain as temperatures rise above the freezing mark. For areas north of lakes Erie and Ontario a period of ice pellets and freezing rain is expected this evening during the snow to rain transition. Over Eastern Ontario, a more prolonged event is possible overnight with several hours of freezing rain forecast before temperatures rise above zero Monday morning.

 

In the wake of the storm, bitterly cold west to northwest winds will result in the development of intense snow squalls southeast of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 cm are forecast over a large area Monday as the winds carry the squalls far inland and are forecast to shift during the day. Very low visibilities will be likely with near whiteout conditions possible under the most intense snow bands.

 

These cold, brisk winds will also likely produce widespread dangerous wind chills beginning Monday night as some of the coldest air in years blasts across the region.

 

Travel conditions are expected to deteriorate and become hazardous due to accumulating snow and reduced visibilities in falling snow and blowing snow. Furthermore, where freezing rain falls, untreated surfaces will quickly become icy and slippery.

 

There is still some uncertainty as to the exact track of the storm centre and where the freezing rain and heaviest snow will fall. Environment Canada will continue to monitor this evolving situation and update warnings accordingly.

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Another Winter Storm On Tap for Collingwood and Blue Mountains

This winter has certainly given us a variety of weather so far in the Collingwood and Blue Mountains area, and it is looking like the start to 2014 won’t be much different! The milder weather today will be short lived. More nasty, wintry weather will be coming our way again. Another snow storm is brewing, then more bitter cold and snow squalls with heavy snow is expected on Sunday. Windy and sharply colder again Monday with blowing snow and lake effect snow squalls.

 

A cold front from a separate weather system affecting Northern Ontario will slip into Southern Ontario tonight. This front will bring a couple cm of snow with it to many areas by Sunday morning, with perhaps up to 5 cm falling at locales near Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. This front will likely stall somewhere near or just north of lakes Erie and Ontario on Sunday.

 

Meanwhile, a low pressure system developing over Oklahoma or Texas today is forecast to intensify and track northeastward along the line of this stalled front to cross Southern Ontario Sunday night.

 

Sunday is expected to dawn with snow falling over most areas. As the deepening low gets closer, the snow will become heavy over Southwestern Ontario Sunday afternoon and over the remaining regions Sunday evening. Snow will taper off overnight Sunday, but will persist into Monday morning over Eastern Ontario. There is a risk of freezing rain Sunday evening for regions near Eastern Lake Erie as well as over Eastern Ontario Sunday night into early Monday. Current indications suggest that many places will see snowfall amounts of 15 to 20 cm.

 

Behind the storm Monday, the brief warm up on the weekend will be a distant memory. Temperatures are set to plummet again late Monday into Tuesday with frigid Arctic air once again settling over the Great Lakes. This time, however, we will be contending with cold temperatures and strong winds. Sustained winds will be 30-40 km/h (higher over the lakes) so it will feel bitterly cold. These cold westerly winds will also kick up the lake effect snow machine with a classic westerly wind direction. Our Collingwood and Blue Mountains area will be dealing with intense snow squalls Monday evening through Tuesday.

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Environment Canada to Alter How it Reports Wind Chill and Extreme Cold

The federal government is working on a new way to warn Canadians about the need to protect themselves from the dangers of frigid weather.

 

Right now, Environment Canada issues wind chill warnings when cold temperatures and wind speeds combine to exceed health-threatening thresholds, which differ depending on where you live across the country.

 

Under a program being developed with Health Canada, the weather office would issue an Extreme Cold Warning when temperatures plunge to dangerous levels, even if winds are calm.

 

“Working outside in the cold air there is still the possibility that you can get frostbite on a nice cold day with light winds,” said Blair Morrow, an Environment Canada meteorologist working on the project. “We just want to provide Canadians with advance warning to take the necessary steps to protect themselves.”

 

Morrow said a brutally cold day in Edmonton in early December illustrates why such a change is needed. This Dec. 6, Environment Canada issued a wind chill warning for an area when the temperature dipped to -30 C and winds hit 19 km/h, producing a face-numbing wind chill of -42 C.

 

Under the current system, no warning would have been issued had the temperature plunged to -42 C and the winds been light, even though the threat of frostbite or hypothermia would have been just as high.

 

Morrow said when the new system is introduced, perhaps as early as in 2014, Canadians will no longer see separate wind chill warnings in Environment Canada forecasts or on its website.  Wind chill and cold temperatures will be included together in the Extreme Cold Warnings.

 

“When the program is implemented, the new Extreme Cold Warning will be issued in situations of cold temperature and light winds to allow Canadians to take necessary steps to protect their health.”

 

The new warning would be linked to information on the Environment Canada website about how people can protect themselves from cold weather.  Environment Canada already provides such basic tips as planning ahead, spending less time outdoors, seeking shelter, dressing warmly in layers, wearing a proper hat and footwear, staying dry, keeping active and avoiding alcohol.

 

Extreme cold is a killer in Canada and is the biggest cause of weather-related fatalities. Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips said about 100 people die of cold-related causes each year. Many more people suffer from frostbite and less serious frostnip. This happens despite the fact that detailed weather forecasts and information are more readily available than ever before.

 

Over the years, wind chill warnings have been expressed in different ways: the time it would take for exposed flesh to freeze; heat loss in watts per square metre; or how the equivalent cold temperature due to wind speed feels on exposed skin.

 

For weather forecasters, it’s fine tuning the message about the dangers of extreme cold in the hope that more people will pay attention. “Under certain wind conditions, Canadians are probably tricked into thinking that ‘Wow, it is not cold out there’, when it is.”

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Snow Squall Watch

Local snow squalls possible tonight and Monday.

 

A sharp Arctic cold front is forecast to sweep through Southern Ontario by this evening. In the wake of this front a cold northwest flow is expected to result in the development of lake effect flurries and local snow squalls tonight.

 

Snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 cm may be possible under the most intense squalls along with near zero visibilities. Motorists travelling into the regions should be prepared for sudden reductions to visibility and accumulating snow on untreated roads.

 

The snow squalls are expected to persist into Monday.

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Latest Update on Ontario’s Response to the Ice Storm

Significant progress has been made in restoring power to residents across Ontario. Hydro One is working with Toronto Hydro to add more resources to their effort.

 

Efforts are also being made to help people replace food they may have lost as a result of the storm. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is working with its Supply Chain Alliance partners to obtain and distribute food to these Ontarians. Details of the food distribution efforts are being worked out with municipal and community officials and more precise information will be made available within the next 48 hours.

 

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is coordinating resources across government and working closely with our partners to help restore power and services to all affected communities and keep people safe.

 

At the start of the ice storm, over 600,000 customers were without power.

 

Progress has been made but significant work remains to be done to bring the remaining impacted customers back online. Updates on power outages caused by the storm can be found on most local utility websites or at http://www.ontario.ca/warning.

 

Hydro utilities in impacted areas are working to get the power back on as soon as possible. In addition, hydro crews from less affected areas of the province and utilities that have completed their restoration efforts are being brought in as they become available to help restore power as quickly as possible.

 

Several hundred Hydro One customers affected by the original outage remain without power. Some communities have experienced other seasonally typical outages, and Hydro One crews are also working to restore power in those cases.

 

Toronto Hydro: 23,870 customers (300,000 at peak)
Brampton (Hydro One Brampton): 500 customers
York Region (Power Stream): 500 customers

**Please note that information comes from a variety of sources and is subject to frequent change as restoration efforts progress and weather develops.

 

Toronto Hydro is receiving support from Hydro One crews from Kingston, EnWin, Ottawa Hydro, Sault Ste Marie PUC, Manitoba Hydro, Horizon Utilities and Sudbury Hydro.

 

Hydro One continues to receive the support of local distribution companies (LDC) from across the province including Peterborough PUC, Newmarket Hydro, Sudbury Hydro, North Bay Hydro, Orangeville Hydro, Orillia Hydro, Midland Hydro and Haldimand Hydro.

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Ice Storm Continues Today

The centre of the storm which originated from Texas is now located over Southwestern Ontario this morning. The storm has brought substantial moisture into Southern Ontario. This combined with slightly colder northerly flow is still producing a major freezing rain storm which will continue today for portions of Southern and Eastern Ontario. Additional freezing rainfall amounts in the order of 10 to 15 mm are possible today. Wind increasing this morning will gust 30 to 50 kilometres per hour may also cause damage to structures and trees due to the weight of ice accumulation.

 

Areas from Southern Lake Huron through the Greater Toronto area including Hamilton and Niagara, freezing rain will persist until early this afternoon before changing to drizzle.

 

For areas from Kincardine to Lake Simcoe and Muskoka then east to Kingston, freezing rain could last into this afternoon. For areas from Brockville to Cornwall, freezing rain is expected to continue into early this evening.

 

Significant ice accumulation on trees and power lines is creating widespread power outages and downed trees or tree limbs. More than 250,000 customers are without power in the Greater Toronto area alone. Driving conditions on untreated roads are very hazardous as well. Motorists and pedestrians should exercise caution and adjust travel plans accordingly.

 

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Freezing Rain Warning

Periods of freezing rain today into tonight.

 

A disturbance from Texas has brought freezing rain into Southern Ontario as expected. The freezing rain will work its way into Eastern Ontario by this evening. Precipitation may fall as rain near the Lake Ontario shoreline today where easterly winds off the lake will help to keep the temperature barely above the freezing mark.

 

Elsewhere periods of freezing rain will persist into tonight. Ice accretion of up to 5 mm can be expected in some places. The freezing rain will be mixed with ice pellets and perhaps even some wet snow at times, especially over northern sections. Freezing rain may turn to rain at times over Southwestern Ontario as temperatures there may edge just above the zero degree mark in some localities such as London and Sarnia.

 

The precipitation will taper to patchy freezing drizzle this evening over western sections and by Saturday morning over eastern regions.

 

Hazardous winter travel conditions can be expected over the regions today. Untreated surfaces may be icy and slippery. Motorists and pedestrians should exercise caution and adjust travel plans accordingly.

 

A second and stronger system could bring a major ice storm to the regions late Saturday into Sunday morning.

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As the Seasons Change

maple leaf lying on snow

 

Weather and the changing landscapes in Collingwood and The Blue Mountains brings some of the most beautiful outdoor scenes in the country. The clear blue and turquoise water of Georgian Bay, the pretty surrounding rivers and streams, incredible views from the Niagara Escarpment, the serene forests and fields in the Beaver Valley and the resident wildlife, each season we can watch them evolve as the weather changes. Share your photos with us here of fall leaves, active weather, snowy landscapes and animals.

 

Add your photo via INSTAGRAM using the hashtag #MYWEATHERCOLLINGWOOD.

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Snow Squall Watch

Snow squall watch for Barrie – Collingwood – Owen Sound – Blue Mountains – Northern Grey County issued

 

Snow squalls developing overnight into Saturday.

 

A cold Arctic airmass continues to establish itself over the Great Lakes regions. Current information suggests that snowsqualls will develop tonight downwind of Georgian Bay and Northern Lake Huron. These squalls will likely persist for most of Saturday producing local amounts on the order of 15 to 20 cm per 12 hour period.

 

Very low visibility in snow and blowing snow will be accompanied with these snow squalls. Motorists are urged to exercise caution as untreated roads may become snow covered and slippery making the travel conditions hazardous.

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3 Day Forcast

clearSaturday
Mainly clear. Low 16C.
POP:10
clearSunday
Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 26C. Winds light and variable.
POP:20

chancetstormsSunday
Partly cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 26C. Winds W at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 50%.
POP:50