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Rain, snow lingers in Ontario

Rain and snow persist through Saturday
Rain and snow persist through Saturday

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

March 11, 2011 — A messy mix has been blasting Ontario for several days and now an Alberta clipper that's moving in could bring more rain and snow for the weekend.

Snow and slush covered roads reported in London
Snow and slush covered roads reported in London

The end of the week in parts of Ontario was messy to say the least. Between rain, freezing rain and heavy snow, there was no escaping the stormy conditions.

The system pushed into southern Ontario Wednesday morning and was bringing a messy mix to most of the province by the evening hours.

Toronto's Pearson International Airport saw both rain and snow making for very slushy roads and sidewalks across the city. Other communities including Sault Ste Marie, North Bay and Trenton saw more of a wintery blast and around 10 cm of fresh snow blanketed the area.

By Thursday morning, the bulk of the system was mostly affecting eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. Snow, rain and freezing rain made for a tricky morning commute in Ottawa and Montreal.

The original system that moved in from the US began to weaken Thursday afternoon, but another low brought more rain, fog and heavy snow to some places through Friday.

“As the colder air filtered into the region, southwestern Ontario saw a changeover from rain to snow Thursday night and through the day on Friday,” says Gerald Cheng, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Treacherous road conditions in the London area forced some schools to shut their doors Friday morning, giving students an extra day for their March Break vacation.

Snow covered highways and blinding conditions had emergency crews and police officials scrambling to keep up with the amount of crashes that occurred.

More snow set to fall through Saturday
More snow set to fall through Saturday

Persistent rain in other parts of the province have had Conservation Authorities on high alert with the threat of unstable ice surfaces and elevated water levels. The onset of wet weather has also increased the risk for basement flooding, so homeowners are urged to take the necessary precautions to flood proof your homes.

Although the low pressure system that has been creating this mess started to move out on Friday evening, yet another system has its sights set on the area.

“An Alberta clipper is approaching the region and could bring a mix of rain and snow on Saturday,” says Brian Dillon, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. “The Greater Toronto Area will see between 4 and 8 cm of snow, but heavier amounts are expected to fall for places in northwestern Ontario.”

This winter has been quite the contrast from last year, giving much of the country a more typical Canadian season. The city of Toronto, for example got through the whole month of March with only a trace of snow in 2010.

“Typically we have to get through the first week of April in southern Ontario to say we've really cleared the threat of significant snow. Some years we have seen snow later than that, but typically in a place like Toronto, if you can get by April 10 and 15 you can pretty much say spring is here and we're done,” says meteorologist Chris Scott.

Be sure to tune in to The Weather Network on TV to keep up-to-date on all of the details of this storm. You can also get updates to your phone to help prepare for the stormy weather.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison

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