Significant snowfall coming to GTA on Saturday

NATASHA RAMSAHAI AND ADAM STILES | posted Friday, Jan 17th, 2020

**NOTE: these are early predictions and forecast models can change several times a day. Meteorologists will have updates every 10 minutes on 680 NEWS. Meteorologist Adam Stiles will have updated forecast models and will be taking your questions on CityNews’ Facebook Live, Friday at 4 p.m.** 


It’s been a really quiet January weather-wise and we haven’t seen any notable snowfall since around early December.

That all changes this weekend with a big serving of snow on the way for Saturday. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement saying “significant snowfall amounts expected overnight Friday night through Saturday evening.”

Early predictions of snow totals show about 10 to 15 centimetres. In comparison, we’ve had a total of just 10 centimetres of snow all this month.

Meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai has a breakdown of how it’s expected to play out:


  • A moderate-to-high impact winter system will eject out of the Central Plains and move across the Great Lakes, funneling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Cold air ahead of the system on Thursday night and Friday ensures a snowy start, but warmer air Saturday night will change some areas over to a rain-snow mix or even straight rain for a few hours overnight Saturday.
  • The rain will not last long enough to melt the bulk of the snow. It will however, make the snow pack down and become heavier and hard to move by hand/shovel.


  • Snow and blowing snow starts between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday.
  • The heaviest snow will come Saturday afternoon.
  • Rain will start to mix in especially through the west end and along the lake during the evening and overnight as temperatures rise.
  • Behind this system, lake effect snow could be heavy at times on Sunday.

Who and how much:

  • For areas that don’t see rain mixing in, snowfall amounts could be in the 15 to 20 centimetre range, especially north and east GTA, up through cottage country.
  • Most of the rest of Toronto will get about 10 to 15 centimetres plus a millimetre or two or two of rain.
  • The Hamilton to Niagara region will see less snow and more rain.

What NOT to call this:

  • A weather bomb
  • A blizzard
  • Polar vortex
  • Weird and/or wacky


  • The snow may be heavy at times and travel will likely be affected in the GTA Saturday afternoon and evening.
  • The snow will be light, fluffy and blowy to start, switching to heavy, wet snow late Saturday afternoon.
  • If storm drains are blocked with snow, localized flooding is possible for areas to the west that will likely get more rain on top of the snow.
  • Temperatures will drop back down to freezing overnight which could make untreated surfaces very slippery come Sunday morning.
  • A cold front coming through Sunday afternoon could create brief whiteout conditions as it passes.
  • Thereafter, plummeting temperatures will make things very icy Sunday night.
  • Dangerous wind chills near -20 degrees by Monday morning means the risk of frostbite returns.


Stay tuned to 680 NEWS’ weather page for the latest updates as we brace for the coming inclement weather.


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