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Clearing the snow on Family Day in southern Ontario

Winter returns to southern Ontario
Winter returns to southern Ontario

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

February 21, 2011 — The worst of the storm is over in southern Ontario, but several residents may be spending their holiday Monday digging out.

Ontario storm totals
Ontario storm totals

Monday is the Family Day holiday and while most residents are staying home from school and work, it won't necessarily be a day for relaxing.

A low pressure system that developed over the central plains of the United States crossed over the border and has some Ontarians digging out of heavy snow.

The low began to affect areas in the southwest Sunday afternoon and Windsor has already seen around 29 cm of snow. That was enough for the city to declare a snow emergency. Drivers are encouraged to park in municipal lots and community centres to enable snow plows to clear the main streets.

Plows are out in full force in Sarnia and London as well, after close to 20 cm blanketed the communities. Ice pellets and freezing rain have also been falling making for dangerous conditions on the roads. The good news is with it being a holiday, snow removal crews are able to tackle the aftermath of the storm with barely any traffic or commuter disruptions.

Less snow piled up in the Greater Toronto Area thanks to an area of high pressure that kept the stormy conditions south of the Great Lakes. Around 5 cm of snow fell in the city of Toronto.

“Blowing snow may still be an issue between Toronto and London however, because of the breezy conditions,” notes Michelle Cassar, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Enjoying the holiday snow
Enjoying the holiday snow

The region was blasted with damaging winds Friday and into Saturday with some communities seeing gusts up to 100 km/h. A sharp cold front dropped temperatures from the record-breaking low teens into the minus teens overnight.

Temperatures will remain frigid for much of this week, serving as a reminder that the spring season is still several weeks away.

“The average temperature for Toronto at this time of year is zero, but the city is facing daytime highs in the minus teens feeling colder with the wind chill,” says Cassar. “The wind chills should begin to ease by Wednesday and on Thursday mild air will once again invade the region.”

For those people looking for a break from the wintery weather, there are Family Day activities to enjoy at the Ontario Science Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Hockey Hall of Fame, which all remain open for the holiday.

To stay up-to-date on the weather in your area, head to our Ontario Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV where the local forecast comes up at the top and bottom of each hour.

With files from Alexandra Pope

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