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‘Significant snowfall’ expected for GTA on Wednesday evening & Thursday

Jaime Pulfer and Patricia D'Cunha | posted Wednesday, Dec 10th, 2014

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Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for cottage country, including Barrie and Owen Sound, calling for 15 to 20 centimetres of snow, while parts of southern Ontario including the GTA remain under a special weather statement.

A wall of snow in northern New England is approaching from eastern Ontario, and is expected to slowly spread westward across the regions on Wednesday evening, the agency warned.

“Driving conditions will quickly deteriorate as the snow arrives tonight,” Environment Canada said. “Motorists should allow extra time to reach their destination due to low visibility in areas of heavier snow and blowing snow.”

The agency said the snow storm is expected to have a significant impact on the morning commute on Thursday.

“Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions.”

Earlier, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for parts of southern Ontario, including Toronto and the GTA, calling for “significant snowfall” for the region on Wednesday night and Thursday. The statement also extends to Barrie, Orillia, Waterloo, Hamilton and Niagara.

According to the weather agency, general snowfall totals are expected to be around 10 centimetres, but that depends on location. The eastern parts of the GTA could be hit with up to 15 centimetres of snow by the time the storm ends.

680News meteorologist Jill Taylor says the forecast calls for mainly cloudy and windy conditions to start on Wednesday, followed by snow around 9 p.m.

She said there will be some flurries before 9 p.m., which means the drive home could be tricky, and then back to work and school on Thursday morning.

Taylor said the bulk of the snow is expected overnight and early Thursday morning. Between 3-7 centimetres of snow could fall overnight in parts of the GTA, with another 3-7 centimetres on Thursday.

“It’s the east end of the GTA that could end up with 10-plus centimetres of snow,” Taylor said.

“Just expect a very slow commute early tomorrow morning — really, no matter where you are.”

There are questions about preparedness after the last snowfall in November and the problems with the contractors on the Queen Elizabeth Way.

It could be the most snow the GTA has seen this season so far, with 6.3 centimetres recording at Pearson International Airport on Nov. 17 and four centimetres on Nov. 19.

The snow is expected to end later on Thursday for central and southwestern Ontario.

For Wednesday, a high of 1 C has already been reached, but it will be near -1 C for the rest of the day with a wind chill near -8. The low will be -5 C with a wind chill near -12 in the evening.

Air Canada has issued a travel advisory for Toronto, saying flights might be impacted by the forecasted snow.

Many airlines have issued alerts about weather in other areas like Quebec, Ottawa, the East Coast and the U.S. Northeast.

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