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Special weather statement remains in effect for the GTA

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Feb 6th, 2020

A special weather statement issued by Environment Canada remains in effect for the GTA, with snow expected to continue on Thursday and the possibly of freezing drizzle.

Meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai has the breakdown of what to expect, when and how much is on the way, with a confidence level of moderate to high in the current forecast.


A Texas low is being energized by the jet stream and strengthening as it heads towards southern Ontario. The centre of the low will pass just to our south, which keeps us on the cold, northern side, hence Toronto will see all snow instead of ice pellets or freezing rain.

The best chance for ice pellets or freezing rain mixing in will be across the Niagara Peninsula especially Stoney Creek to Niagara. If temperatures were a couple of degrees milder, snow amounts would be less when you stick a ruler in it, due to compaction. This will not be the case Thursday and Friday, as light fluffy snow is expected to accumulate with lots of air pockets, which reads higher when you measure with a ruler.

A northeast wind off of the almost ice-free Lake Ontario will enhance total amounts for the west end of the lake, hence there will be higher accumulation there.



  • Snow starts near midnight Wednesday night/Thursday early morning.
  • Morning commute: all snow, with the heaviest snowfall expected between 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. along the lake. It will be lighter north of the 401.
  • Late morning/midday: tapering to flurries.
  • Drive home: on and off flurries.
  • Overnight: A second round of snow begins.


  • Snow and gusty north wind will bring additional snow accumulation and blowing snow.
  • Night into the weekend: a cold push of air brings morning weekend wind chills back into the minus 20’s.


Who and how much

  • GTA: four to eight centimetres on Thursday plus the same amount on Friday means a two-day total of between eight to 16 centimetres is expected. The east end will see accumulation towards the lower end of the total amount and the went end will see the higher end of this range.
  • North of the GTA: a two-day total snowfall accumulation of six to 12 centimetres is expected.
  • Hamilton to Niagara: a two-day total of between 12 to more than 20 centimetres of snow and ice pellets combined is expected.



  • All commutes to and fro on Thursday and Friday will be slow due to accumulating snow and slippery conditions, especially on untreated surfaces
  • Snow plus blowing snow will lead to reduced visibility and the need for deicing may delay or cancel flights at both Toronto Pearson and Billy Bishop airports.
  • Dangerous wind chills of -20 to -23 by Saturday morning means a moderate risk of frostbite returns for both weekend mornings.


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