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Wintery weather targets eastern Canada


A mixed bag of precipitation is expected Sunday through Tuesday.
A mixed bag of precipitation is expected Sunday through Tuesday.

Staff writers

April 22, 2012 — The calender may say "spring" but Mother Nature proves that she runs on her own time once again.

Whether or not the snow will stick is still dicey. Chances are there will be accumulations in the higher terrain, and minimal in the Greater Toronto Area.
Whether or not the snow will stick is still dicey. Chances are there will be accumulations in the higher terrain, and minimal in the Greater Toronto Area.

Forecasters at The Weather Network are keeping a close eye on a strong area of low pressure that will be deepening along the U.S. mid-Atlantic states and track north-westward into southern Ontario,  Quebec, and the Maritime provinces overnight Sunday through Tuesday. Commuters can expect significant delays and heavy traffic Monday morning, and are advised to leave extra time before heading into work.

The system will continue to affect these areas through Tuesday as well, making this a 2-day story. Similar conditions have been known to cause flight cancellations and delays in the past, therefore it would be wise for vacationers to check with their airline ahead of time.

Powerful wind gusts are the primary concern with this low. Gusts can reach up to 80 km/h for Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Heavy wet snow in southern and central Ontario, and heavy rain for the Maritimes will also push in with this system. "Computer models have been advertising this system all week," says Chris Scott, Director of Meteorology, at The Weather Network, "and are in strong agreement on the track, which have shifted slightly west over the last 24 hours."

QUEBEC

A messy mix of precipitation will target the southern area of the province Sunday and into the overnight. As the previous system tapers off, (which brought the snowfall in the Gaspe Peninsula area Sunday morning) forecasters are predicting that southern Quebec will escape the threat of heavy snow with this current system. 

The powerful wind gusts are the biggest concern with this low. "Strong northeasterly winds funneling through the St. Lawrence combined with heavy precipitation (mainly rain) will make for a stormy, slow commute Monday morning," says Scott.

Significant precipitation in the Maritimes will most likely allow them to approach their March-April average rainfall totals - countering the dry season it's been thus far
Significant precipitation in the Maritimes will most likely allow them to approach their March-April average rainfall totals - countering the dry season it's been thus far

SOUTHERN ONTARIO

Commuters in the Golden Horseshoe of southern Ontario should consider re-filling their windshield cleaner before heading into work Monday morning. The forecast calls for a rain/snow mix overnight, and mainly rain for Tuesday. 

Chris Scott explains that it is extremely difficult to pin-point exactly where and how much snow will fall when dealing with a tricky system like this one. Areas located in the higher terrain, such as Orangeville, Ancaster, Collingwood, and Aurora are most at risk for snow to accumulate. 

During the Monday rush hour, most roadways in the Greater Toronto Area are expected to be mainly wet with a possibility of slushy patches, depending on how quickly the snow falls. There will also be reduced visibilities in the Cottage country due to strong wind and blowing snow. 

MARITIMES

The Maritimes will see up to a whopping 100mm of rainfall through Tuesday. The current system shows that the heaviest rains will be south of Fredericton and Moncton along the shorelines.

For areas of New Brunswick north of Fredericton, the situation will be slightly messier with a rain/snow mix Monday morning before transitioning into just rain. It would also be an ideal time to bring out a warm hat, as winds will be blowing unapologetically at 80 km/h throughout all the provinces. 

I thought it was spring, so what's up with all this active weather?

Ask any meteorologist, and they'll tell you the same thing - "weather never repeats itself exactly". However, there was a similar case of a late-season snow event in April 2005. A storm tracked slightly farther west dumped more than 15 cm of snow just north of Detroit on April 23rd - exactly seven years prior to this current storm. Whether or not the snow will stick is to be determined, but one thing we do know is that Mother Nature always follows her own calender.

For updates on what to expect, be sure to tune in to The Weather Network on TV. We also encourage you to check your local forecast and the Alerts section of our website.

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