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Ontario braces for snow, freezing rain

Drivers urged to take caution on the roads
Drivers urged to take caution on the roads

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

January 17, 2011 — Commuters in southern Ontario can expect a messy morning drive as a low pressure system moves through the area.

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for southern Ontario
Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for southern Ontario

Commuters in the Greater Toronto Area should brace for a messy drive Tuesday morning. Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning for most of southern Ontario.

Fresh on the heels of a high pressure system that brought extremely cold temperatures to the area Monday, a low is moving in, bringing with it a mix of snow and freezing drizzle. Although temperatures in Toronto, which plummeted to -19°C Monday morning, had rebounded by Monday afternoon, the warmer air brings no relief from winter's wrath.

Snow had already begun falling in northern Ontario late Monday afternoon. Thunder Bay has seen the greatest accumulation so far, 12 cm. Geraldton has 11 cm, Kapuskasing has four, and Sioux Lookout and Pickle Lake each have five.

Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, says areas south of London and Hamilton will see mostly rain as this system moves through Ontario on Tuesday. However, the GTA could see up to 7 cm of snow as well.

“The snow will be mixing with freezing drizzle and ice pellets, causing a slippery commute throughout the region,” he says.

Snowfall expected through Wednesday
Snowfall expected through Wednesday

The rain-snow mix will persist throughout the day Tuesday before turning back to snow overnight, so drivers should be on the lookout for icy roads, off-ramps and underpasses, Dillon says. “Driving conditions will be slow.”

The outlook isn't all gloomy though: skiers in cottage country are in for ripe conditions. Areas north of Orangeville, Goderich and Bancroft could see anywhere from 10 to 15 cm of snow.

The work week got off to a frigid start. The City of Toronto issued an extreme cold alert on Saturday after temperatures plunged below -15°C.

Early Monday morning, a 66-year-old woman was found frozen to death on a driveway near her Toronto home after she wandered away in the middle of the night.

Peterborough experienced the lowest temperature during the cold snap: a bone-chilling -32°C.

For more details on the weather conditions in your area, be sure to check your local forecast. You can also receive updates to your cell phone to help keep you prepared through the stormy weather.

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