January 12, 2012 — A series of low-pressure systems are bringing a messy mix to parts of central and eastern Canada.
Three low pressure systems tracking from the Prairies and the United States are battling it out across eastern Canada.
“The combination of lows will bring active weather in the form of snow and freezing rain to Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes through Saturday,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
Snowfall amounts aren't expected to be overwhelming, but the change from mild, spring-like conditions could catch some people off guard.
“It’s unlikely to be a huge storm in any one area, the significance is more in the breadth of areas affected,” explains Chris Scott, Director of Meteorology at The Weather Network.
Motorists are urged to exercise caution on the roads and approach winter driving with the right tactics.
Rain began falling in parts of southern Ontario Wednesday night, while areas north to Barrie and east to Brockville face a risk for freezing rain as temperatures dip. Untreated roads could become icy and slippery, so drivers are encouraged to leave themselves plenty of extra time.
The rain will transition over to snow for much of southern Ontario through the overnight hours on Thursday and into Friday. By the time all is said and done at the end of Friday, Toronto could see 4-6 cm of snow, while eastern Ontario, including Ottawa, could see up to 20 cm.
Environment Canada warns that the morning commute on Friday may be a hazardous one due to brisk winds, snow and blowing snow and falling temperatures in many areas.
In Quebec, it's expected that the system will bring snow and a risk of freezing rain. 10-20 cm of snow is forecast for southern Quebec through Friday. Montreal will mainly see snow, but there is also a risk of freezing rain.
“We could get a mix of precipitation right along the St. Lawrence River Valley,” says Gina Ressler, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.
People in the Maritimes can expect a messy mix of snow, rain and freezing rain with this system.
It should begin as snow for all of the Atlantic provinces on Thursday, but will quickly change to rain for Nova Scotia.
“Areas around the Bay of Fundy and southern Nova Scotia could eventually get a rain-snow mix,” explains Ressler. “The snow will push into the Maritimes Thursday morning and afternoon, then transition over through the evening and overnight.”
Up to 20 cm of snow is possible in parts of New Brunswick. Periods of freezing rain are also expected Thursday night and into Friday, which could make the commute a slippery and dangerous one.
Make sure to check out the Alerts section of our website for the latest weather alerts in your area.