There's no denying it now, winter is officially here. And it's hitting hard this weekend with a triple threat of winter weather in southern Ontario. A major winter storm is due to blow into southern Ontario, bringing with it all the worst and most dangerous parts of winter.
The storm, which is currently tracking through America, is expected to hit the Toronto region and the rest of southern Ontario on Saturday. About 30 cm of snow is forecasted in some areas, particularly in Hamilton and Niagara. The snow is only one part of the triple threat, though. The other factor is the wind.
The wind actually accounts for two parts of the triple winter threat. First off, when the snow mixes with wind you end up with blowing snow, posing a dangerous risk to drivers since visibility will be completely reduced. This weekend in particular winds of 60 km/hour are expected and that could cause zero visibility at times.
The final, and maybe the worst part of this triple threat is the wind chill factor. The wind will not only lead to snow gusts but also extremely dangerous windchills into the -20°C to -30°C range. The wind chills are expected to last all weekend.
The weather is so bad that it's prompted Environment Canada to issue a number of extreme weather warnings and special weather statements in southern Ontario. In the Niagara and Hamilton regions, there are extreme winter storm warnings and watches in place.
The Most Massive Snowstorm in 100 Years
Meanwhile in Toronto, and the other regions of southern Ontario, there are only special weather statements in place. In Toronto specifically, this weather statement warns of snow and bitter cold throughout the weekend.
In the statement for Toronto, Environment Canada warns that roads and sidewalks may become slippery. They state that the winds up to 50km/hour will reduce visibility in some areas. On top of all that, they warn that the terrible wind chills will last right through to Monday.
But, Ontario is only getting a fraction of the winter storm. While the Great Lake region is in for some really rough weather, the storm is tracking through the United States and hitting the northeast very hard.
In Pennsylvania and the surrounding states, they are forecasted to get up to 60 cm of snow this weekend. Forecasters are advising Canadians that any travel plans to there should be reconsidered.
The snow is expected to begin in Ontario early Saturday morning and continue all day long before turning to light flurries on Sunday morning. Temperatures this weekend will feel like -22°C and lower in some places from tonight through to Monday morning.