January 22, 2010 — Snow is falling across the Prairies today with strong winds causing drifting and blowing snow. A low pressure system from California has formed into a major winter storm in Colorado and is moving across the Prairies into Northwestern Ontario.
The storm will move into Ontario and Quebec for Monday bringing heavy rain and a fast return to seasonal temperatures.
Prairies & Northwestern Ontario
Snow will continue through the weekend as the Colorado Low across the Prairies bringing heavy snow, strong winds and dropping temperatures. The storm will move into Northwestern Ontario Saturday as it continues eastward.
Saskatoon and central Saskatchewan could see 5-15 cm of snow during this event. Regina and southern Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg and central Manitoba will be hit the hardest with accumulations of over 20 cm possible. For Thunder Bay and the Nickelbelt, snow will start Sunday morning and last through to Tuesday with 20–30 cm expected. The strong winds associated with this system could cause blowing snow, reduced visibility and whiteout conditions. Drivers should exercise caution.
Rain for Southern Ontario
As this Low moves east, Ontario and Southern Quebec will be affected on Sunday and Monday with windy conditions, moderate rain, and colder conditions.
The GTA could see 10-30 mm of rain starting Sunday morning through Monday afternoon. There will be a switch over to snow Monday afternoon through Tuesday with flurries and lake effect squalls throughout this period. There is the risk of freezing rain / ice pellets as the cold front moves through on Monday afternoon.
In the snow belt areas and cottage country, the storm will begin as rain changing to snow on Monday. As cold winds howl across the great lakes Monday night into Tuesday, lake effect squalls will intensify along the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.
The winds accompanying this storm will be gusting from 30-40 km/h Sunday and Monday, but will become stronger Monday afternoon through Tuesday as westerly winds move in behind the cold front. Winds behind the front could reach gusts of 50-70 km/h. Stronger gusts around the lake shores could reach 100 km/h. Snowsqualls will pick up again behind the system starting Tuesday and will continue through late next week.
Ottawa & Montreal
For the Ottawa / Montreal area the storm will be a rain event beginning late Sunday. 20–40mm of rainfall is expected before the system moves out on Tuesday. There is a slight chance of mixing before the rain arrives on Sunday evening and slight chance of mixing before the cold air arrives late Monday.
Watches and Warnings are in effect across the Prairies.