Spring may be just around the corner, but winter is not done with Toronto just yet. A significant weather system is threatening to dump up to 15 centimetres of snow on the city Wednesday.
Environment Canada issued an official winter storm watch for Toronto on Tuesday morning, warning of the impending danger and messy travel conditions that could stretch late into the week.
The government weather agency warns that a Colorado low system is expected to strike much of southern Ontario late Wednesday and into Thursday, bringing ice pellets, heavy snow, and the risk of freezing rain.
Environment Canada cautions that “precipitation may fall heavily at times leading to hazardous winter travel conditions.”
Rapidly accumulating snow is the main concern associated with this system, with the potential for icy and slippery conditions to create chaos on roads and highways. The storm watch anticipates that “there may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas.”
“Precipitation may also mix with freezing rain in some areas,” states the storm watch, though meteorologists at EnvironCan say “there remains some uncertainty for the exact location, timing, and accumulations of snow and ice pellets.
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It is expected that the storm watches for Toronto and other municipalities will be upgraded to storm warnings as the weather event draws closer to the region.
According to The Weather Network, Toronto could see between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow arrive on Wednesday alone, but other areas of the region could see even worse conditions.
The Weather Network’s models show that a band stretching from Niagara Falls to Windsor is “ripe for an ice storm,” one that could cause serious damage to power infrastructure.
A follow-up blast of moisture on Thursday is expected to bring additional freezing rain, though strong wind gusts combined with ice accretion could spell disaster as the region experienced in 2013.