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Freezing rain, snow and messy conditions ahead for GTA

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Mar 23rd, 2016

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We are officially a few days into spring, but don’t put away your winter gear just yet.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement on Tuesday morning for all of southern Ontario, warning about wet and messy conditions over the next couple of days.

CityNews Meteorologist Adam Stiles said this is going to be a high-impact storm system that is arriving on Wednesday and lasting through Thursday.

“We are going to see a wide range of precipitation types, so be prepared for changing conditions,” Stiles said. “I don’t think we will have to worry about shoveling in the most of the GTA, but there is still a possibility of some snow with this one.”

There is a chance that the extreme northern portions of the GTA could see 10-15 cm of snow.

“A weak disturbance is moving along the line of an arctic front draped across the region that will bring a coating of a few centimetres of snow to areas north and east of the Greater Toronto Area into Eastern Ontario on Tuesday,” Environment Canada said.

A low pressure system will give periods of snow or ice pellets through the day on Wednesday.

“Precipitation will change over to freezing rain Wednesday night and continue until Thursday morning,” Environment Canada said. “Ice accretion on untreated surfaces of 5 to 10 millimeters is possible by Thursday morning.”

The slippery conditions may cause significant impact on transportation and these storms have caused power outages in the past.

“We will likely see ice accretion in the range of 5-15 mm across the GTA amd we will likely see some power outages if the freezing rain persists for as long as the forecast is hinting at,” said Stiles.

Areas from Toronto westward will see the freezing rain end Wednesday morning with a change to rain, and for areas east of Toronto the freezing rain will end later in the day Thursday.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous,” Environment Canada said.

Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.

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