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Messy mix charges through Ontario, Quebec

Road conditions deteriorate with rain and snow
Road conditions deteriorate with rain and snow

Andrea Stockton and Alexandra Pope, staff writers

February 28, 2011 — One large system is impacting much of eastern Canada. Rain, freezing rain and snow made for messy conditions on the roads.

Rainfall totals expected through Monday
Rainfall totals expected through Monday

It was a wintery weekend for parts of southern Ontario and Monday morning wasn't much better.

First, a system dumped over 10 cm of snow in the southwest on Friday and then another storm brought a more snow to the Greater Toronto Area Saturday night and into Sunday. Around 8 cm piled up in the city of Toronto, and a new snowfall record -- 10 cm -- was set at Buttonville airport.

Milder air and moisture that moved in on Sunday helped to melt away most of the snow that accumulated, but it also paved the way for a strong Colorado low.

The system dumped mostly cold rain on southern Ontario, but an Arctic air mass in place over eastern Ontario helped it generate intense snow in the Ottawa and Gatineau areas. Downtown Ottawa received 15 cm -- but the transition zone between types of precipitation was so sharp that Ottawa airport, just a few kilometres outside the city, experienced freezing rain as well.

The freezing rain forced the cancellation of school buses for Ottawa Public and Catholic School Boards and Ottawa French Public and Catholic School Boards Monday morning. Officials also temporarily closed the Rideau Canal Skateway in anticipation of the wintery mix.

Several other school boards across the province cancelled transportation as well and some even cancelled classes due to the poor conditions.

Snow could pile up in some areas Monday
Snow could pile up in some areas Monday

Later on Monday, the storm tracked into Quebec, where it packed a decent punch.

Colder temperatures around Quebec City and Mont Tremblant meant those areas received more snow. The provincial capital was blanketed by 18 cm. Montreal got 5 cm.

Temperatures in southern Ontario will cool off this week in the wake of the storm -- but rollercoaster temperatures like the region has been seeing lately are an encouraging sign that spring is close, says Weather Network meteorologist Gerald Cheng.

“These fluctuations we're getting are very spring-like,” he says. “Spring is all about the battle between warm air and cold.”

To stay up-to-date on the weather in your area, head to our Canadian Cities Index. You can also receive warnings and alerts to your cell phone when the stormy weather hits.

With files from Jill Colton

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