The forecasters have spoken, and you likely won't be too thrilled with what they have to say. Southern Ontario is in the grip of a freezing rain storm and Environment Canada is warning residents of Toronto and the GTA that icy road conditions are expected. The freezing rain is already coming down pretty hard in the downtown core, and many of Toronto's surrounding cities are getting blanketed by ice pellets.
Meteorologists at The Weather Network say that the freezing rain shows no signs of stopping for the next 20 or so hours in the Toronto region. TWN's Dr. Doug Gillham says that the freezing rain threat is "highest in the Hamilton and Niagara area and possibly into Burlington, Oakville and Waterdown".
As the freezing rain begins to accumulate on roads and highways, conditions could become "treacherous" for drivers on Wednesday. "For areas where most of the precipitation falls as freezing rain, treated roads will just be wet, but the danger is that ramps will could be icy, and any untreated side roads and neighbourhood streets will be treacherous," says Gillham. These areas could also see power outages.
The Weather Network's ice accretion forecast indicates that by Thursday morning, Toronto could see anywhere from 5 to 10 mm of ice buildup. Hamilton-Niagara could see over 15 mm. Take a look at the effect that the freezing rain storm is already having across southern Ontario:
#FreezingRain falling now in the #GTA and #HaltonRegion - forming a sheet of ice on the ground. Be careful out there during the morning commute. Roads are very slippery! @CBCAlerts @TorontoPolice @HaltonPolice #news #RoadSafety pic.twitter.com/wG9qbsRVzi— James Morrison-Collalto (@stopgapcam) February 6, 2019
Freezing rain will transition into freezing drizzle by Thursday morning, then finally taper off by mid-morning. "Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery," reads Environment Canada's weather advisory for Toronto.
Toronto drivers should prepare to adjust their driving with changing road conditions. The advisory also warns that ice buildup may cause utility outages and tree branches to break, potentially obstructing roadways and sidewalks. Here's the ice accretion forecast for southern Ontario during this freezing rain storm:
Thursday's high in the Toronto area will hover at 1°C. Then we plunge back into the negatives by the weekend and brace for another bout of snow on Tuesday the 12th. Take a look at the next 7 days in Toronto: