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Snow squalls tearing through the snow belt

Expected snowfall totals for Saturday.
Expected snowfall totals for Saturday.

Jill Colton, staff writer

November 27, 2010 — There's no doubt about it. Winter-like weather has arrived. Flurries and local snow squalls continue to blow through central and southern Ontario, making it the first substantial snowfall of the season for the area.

Rooftop snow in Barrie, Ont.
Rooftop snow in Barrie, Ont.

Talk about snow. People living in the snow belts woke up to a winter wonderland Saturday morning.

Lake-effect flurries and snow squalls have been hitting the region extensively since Friday, resulting in some serious accumulations. The weather station at Beatrice to the north of Bracebridge has reported almost 25 cm.

Watches and warnings have been in effect for several communities across southern Ontario including Barrie, Orillia, Midland and Goderich. According to Environment Canada, the squalls will continue to affect the snow belts as strong westerly winds propel cold arctic air across the warm waters of the Great Lakes.

Lake-effect snow expected
Lake-effect snow expected

With all the snow, it's a good idea to prepare for sudden whiteout conditions if you're on the road. Bursts of heavy snow and localized blowing snow could make driving hazardous. In fact, police have closed several roads in the Haliburton area because of dangerous road conditions.

On Saturday morning, an intense squall spanned from the Bruce Peninsula to Midland and Gravenhurst, extending east to near Pembroke.

The snow squall band then tracked south towards the Greater Toronto Area. “Although the city could see a few centimetres, it won't likely stay on the ground,” said Mark Robinson, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Snow isn't the only thing Ontario residents have had to contend with. An intense bout of freezing rain and flash freezing swept parts of the province Thursday evening and continued early Friday morning. The OPP say accidents were reported on Highways 11 and 104 during the overnight hours.

For more details on the storms in the Prairies, be sure you check your local forecast. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV, where the National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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