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Snow squalls and harsh winds wallop Ontario


Staff writers

January 30, 2012 — Snow squalls and tropical storm-strength winds pounded Ontario over the weekend. Temperatures are on the rise.

Peak wind gusts on Saturday
Peak wind gusts on Saturday

The wallop began on Friday with a combination of snow, rain and freezing rain throughout the day in both Ontario and Quebec.

There were a series of highway collisions, including one that claimed the life of one woman in East Gwillumbury. Ontario Provincial Police say that during the morning rush hour on Friday, an accident was being reported every two minutes.

On Saturday, a quick-moving Alberta clipper pushed into Ontario, bringing another wintery day.

The snow began falling in the Windsor region, and had reached the Greater Toronto Area by 10 am.

By nightfall, snow squalls were developing off Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Many snow squall and blowing snow warnings were issued across the province.

Wind warnings were also in effect, including in Toronto, where peak gusts of 94 km/h were recorded. On the shores of Lake Erie, gusts topped 100 km/h.

The cold front that moved in combined with strong winds, caused flash freezing and slick roads.

Snow expected through Tuesday
Snow expected through Tuesday

Another clipper brought more snow squalls on Sunday.

“Around 5 cm of snow piled up in London, while parts of the Niagara region saw up to 10 cm,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Winds continued to gust up to 50 km/h creating poor driving conditions and reduced visibilities. At 1 pm, the visibility in Hamilton was 15 km -- by 2 pm it had dwindled to just 1 km.

Several accidents were reported along the 400 series highways. All lanes of the 403 in both directions from Highway 52 to Garden Ave in Brantford were closed because of whiteout conditions.

Snow squalls continued off Lake Huron and Georgian Bay early Monday morning

Temperatures are expected to rise to 7°C by Tuesday afternoon.

You can keep on top of weather watches and warnings by heading to the Alerts section of our website.

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