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Snow squalls whip across Ontario


Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

November 18, 2011 — The snow is piling up in parts of Ontario, courtesy of lake-effect snow squalls. Flurries were also reported in the Greater Toronto Area Thursday.

Snowfall expected through Sunday
Snowfall expected through Sunday

Thursday was a snowy day in parts of Ontario, from northern sections of the province all the way south to Toronto.

Snow squalls that pushed off of Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and Lake Superior, left some communities buried under a fresh blanket of snow. Several places in cottage country saw upwards of 20 cm of snow accumulate.

“There has been lots of snow. We've had lake effects bursts and heavy bands move through,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “The heaviest snow has been falling around Gravenhurst and Parry Sound, but there have also been decent snowfall amounts near Barrie.”

StormHunter Mark Robinson was reporting from Gravenhurst, north of Barrie, on Thursday afternoon.

“This is the kind of situation that is very dangerous for drivers,” he told The Weather Network. “Going from no snow to conditions like this in 30 seconds, and when you're moving at 100 km/h, that can happen really really fast. So if you're out on the road, be very careful, be aware, if you see this kind of situation coming up ahead of you, slow down.”

Light snow and flurries were reported in many parts of southern Ontario, including the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

“We also had some flurries in the Greater Toronto Area, but not enough for it to stick to the ground,” explains Vettese.

Wednesday's snowfall in Kapuskasing, ON
Wednesday's snowfall in Kapuskasing, ON

The first blast of winter proved to be a challenge for drivers in the southern Georgian Bay area.

Sergeant Dave Woodford with the Ontario Provincial Police says, most drivers weren't ready for the significant snowfall.

“We always see a huge amount of minor collisions out there, which shuts highways down. So you want to be prepared for any emergency that could happen.”

Motorists are urged to exercise caution on the roads as whiteout conditions can make travel extremely dangerous.

Travel headaches weren't the only problem caused by the onset of wintery weather. Several communities also experienced power outages through the overnight hours.

“We saw more snow over night in Gravenhurst, and the power is out this morning,” said one Weather Network Twitter follower.

Earlier this week, parts of northern Ontario woke up to 20 cm of snow.

“A strong trough that moved through Marathon and Wawa on Wednesday developed into an intense lake effect snow band, which brought upwards of 20 cm of snow to the Kapuskasing area,” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “23 cm fell in just three hours.”

School buses in the area were cancelled giving several students their first snow day of the season.

Stay up-to-date on the weather watches and warnings in your area by heading to the Alerts section of the website.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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