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It Doesn't Take Much


February 17, 2010 — It certainly isn't a blast of winter, but light snow is making for some tricky driving conditions in eastern Ontario and the GTA.

It was one of the those rare winter mornings this year where Toronto residents actually needed to use their snow-brushes.

A light dusting of snow coated cars, roads and driveways as people were heading off to work. Despite the lack of accumulation throughout the day, the snow made for some slick driving conditions. Especially east of the city.

The Ontario Provincial Police say there have been traffic accidents in the region, stretching from Port Hope to Cornwall. Most of which were on the 401.

Firefighters were called to four separate accidents today, including a three vehicle pileup north of Trenton. Some of the passengers were taken to hospital, but the injuries have not been specified.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, a couple of crashes have been reported due to the slippery roads. One driver's car slid right into a ditch and completely rolled on its side.

Flurries are expected to continue throughout the evening, but not much will be sticking to the ground. Around two centimetres of snow has already been recorded at Toronto's airport, and the most the city will see is another couple centimetres tonight. The core of the snow is moving southwards. Niagara Falls could see two to five centimetres.

In an ordinary winter, Toronto residents might not have even noticed these flurries. But this has been no ordinary winter.

Normally, Pearson International Airport would have recorded more than 80 centimetres of snow by now. This year, just over 30 centimetres of snow has been recorded.

For this year's lack of snow, meteorologists say we can blame El Nino. An El Niņo year is characterized by slightly warmer ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific that cause a shift in the global weather patterns. The jet stream has also been keeping powerful winter storms south of border.

If you're in Ontario, make sure you check our Highway Conditions Report before you hit the road. You can catch it on TV at :25 and :56 minutes past each hour.

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