Updated: Mar 10, 2019
We are tracking a large spring storm which will bring moderate snowfall to portions of Northern Ontario, freezing rain and snow to South Central and Eastern Ontario, freezing rain to Southwestern Ontario and moderate to heavy rain in the Southwest and Extreme South.
Snowfall and Ice Pellets
As the center of the low tracks across Northeastern Ontario, a long band of moderate snow will develop across Northwestern Ontario extending from the Manitoba/United States/Ontario border northeast towards Weagamow Lake and Polar Bear Park, including everything in between. This will begin near noon on Saturday and land until the early-mid range on Sunday morning, between 6 and 8am when the band starts to shift east along the with the system. Moderate snow will push Southeastern and Northeastern Ontario with light snow towards the northern edge of this system. As the system pulls away into Quebec, the band of snow over Northwestern Ontario will move into Northeastern Ontario and the moderate snow will change over to some light snow. A changeover from rain to snow can be expected in Southern Ontario. Based on the forecasted wind speeds, Sunday afternoon could be quite blustery with winds between 50 and 70km/h and some falling snow. Stay safe on the roads as we progress into March Break for many.
Blue or '1':
Areas in the blue or marked with a '1' can expect less than 5cm of snow. In Far Northern Ontario, this includes the Manitoba/Ontario border extending inland to Fort Severn, Sandy Lake, Muskrat Dam, and Pikangikum. Towards the east, this areas includes James Bay extending far inland to include Webequie, Fort Hope, Missisa Lake, and Kingfisher Lake. In Northern Ontario, this area includes the border of Manitoba/Ontario, such as Woodland Caribou Park. Towards the east across much of North Central Ontario, this area includes Pickle Lake, Armstrong, Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Longlac, Moosonee, Atikokan, and Marathon. In Southern Ontario, this area includes all of the Extreme South, Golden Horseshoe, and GTA, including portions of Southwestern and South Central Ontario. This includes Orillia, Midland, Barrie, Goderich, Kitchener, Kincardine, and Orangeville. Local amounts across Bruce, Huron and Perth Counties, as well as Northern Wellington Counties, could locally reach 5 to 10cm due to lake enhancement.
Green or '2':
Areas in the green or marked with a '2' can expect between 5 to 15cm of snow. In Far Northern Ontario, this includes a swath of snow from Polar Bear Park inland towards Opinnagau Lake, Peawanuck, Moshikopaw Lake extending southwest towards Big Trout Lake, Weagamow Lake, MacDowell Lake, Cat Lake, and Pipestone River Park. Areas between Peawanuck and Polar Bear Park could see local amounts towards 15 to 20cm of snow. In Northwestern Ontario, this includes Red Lake, Slate Falls, Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Ignace, Mine Centre, and Grassy Narrows. Local snowfall amounts may reach between 14 to 18cm. In Northeastern Ontario, this includes everything between a line which runs from Moose Factory to Ameson to Marathon towards White River, Nicholson, Cochrane, including Hearst and Kesagami Park. Local amounts in this region could reach towards 14 to 18cm. In Southern Ontario, this includes all of the United States/Canada border such as Cornwall, Brockville, and Kingston as well as Belleville, Woodview and Washago. This also includes a small patch of Southwestern Ontario extending along the Bruce Peninsula into the Dundalk Highlands near Meaford, Markdale, and Shelburne.
Yellow or '3':
Areas in the yellow or marked with a '3' can expect between 10 and 20cm of snow. This includes a small patch of Northwestern Ontario including Kenora, Vermillion Bay, Fort Frances, and Nestor Falls. In Northeastern Ontario, this includes everything between a line which through Iroquois Falls, Timmins, Foleyet, Chapleau, Wawa and Pukaskwa and areas north of and including Ruel, Ranger Lake, and Blind River. In Southern Ontario, this includes much of Eastern and South Central Ontario such as Ottawa, Perth, Bancroft, Haliburton, Algonquin, Tamworth, Pembroke, and MacTier. Local snowfall amounts towards the south such as Tamworth, Madoc or Gravenhurst could reach snowfall totals slightly less in the 5 to 10cm, although, this risk is low.
Orange or '4':
Areas in the orange or marked with a '4' can expect between 15 and 30cm of snow. This includes areas east, northeast and north of Georgian Bay. This includes Parry Sound, Britt, North Bay, Sudbury, Espanola, Manitoulin Island, Blind River, and Temagami. Most areas will see between 15 and 20cm of snow although local amounts towards 25 or even 30cm are looking to be increasingly possible. Isolated pockets may see amounts lower towards 10 to 15cm of snow.
Snowfall warnings have been issued for portions of Northeastern and Northwestern Ontario to include Kenora/Fort Frances and Blind River/Sudbury.
Rainfall and Flooding
Moderate to heavy rain will set up across the Extreme South near the shores of Lake Erie before the freezing rain changes over to rain for portions of Southwestern Ontario. Areas across the Extreme South and Golden Horseshoe regions can expect a widespread 15 to 30mm of rain. Areas further north towards Huron and Southern Bruce County extending east through Perth and Southern Wellington Counties as well as the Regions of Halton, Peel and Waterloo, a widespread 15 to 25mm of rain can be expected with local amounts towards 30mm. Finally, areas across Toronto along the shores of Lake Ontario including Picton, Brighton and Cobourg can expect a widespread 15 to 25mm of rain. Areas towards the north such as Northern Wellington County extending in Northern Bruce County, Grey and Dufferin Counties as well as the northern regions of York and Durham can expect less than 10mm of rain, although, local pockets towards 15 and even 20mm are possible, mainly for areas closest to the green or marked '1' area. Elsewhere, less than 10mm of rain is likely.
Pooling on roads from the moderate rain and melting snowpacks may cause localized road closures and at times, unsafe driving conditions. Ice jams causing flooding may be a concern as well. Along the shores of Lake Erie, mainly between Port Maitland and Fort Erie, ice shoves may develop. Although these ice shoves will not be as significant as the ones from the last wind storm event, they are possible.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has issued a 'Watershed Condition Statement' for all of Southern Ontario including portions of Northeastern Ontario. Multiple local conservation areas have also issued watershed statements and flood watches. We encourage you to monitor flooding related alerts from your local conservation area as well as local flood conditions.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry can be found here.
Freezing Rain and Ice
As the precipitation moves into Southern Ontario as rain, cooler temperatures will flush the region creating a pocket of freezing rain. The freezing rain may be moderate to heavy at times. The freezing rain will begin in the west and last for 2-4 hours, with local spots reaching 6 hours. The freezing rain will spread across the region late this evening into Early Sunday Morning. Because of the intensity of the freezing rain, it's difficult to forecast the exact amount which will stick to the surface, although, this forecast will display the total amount expected to at least fall. If an area does get significant accretion such as some shown in the forecast, with the gusty winds between 70 and 90km/h, widespread damage and power outages would be possible.
Blue or '1':
Areas in the blue or marked with a '1' can expect less than 2mm of ice accretion. This includes the direct shores of Lake Huron such as Kincardine, Goderich, and Grand Bend. Local amounts towards 2 to 4mm are possible in this area. Further east, this risk includes London and Delhi extending over to areas between Hamilton and Grimsby and areas south to include Windsor, Sarnia, and St. Thomas as well. Local amounts towards Hamilton could reach between 2 and 4mm of ice. Further northeast, the shores of Lake Ontario including Oakville, Toronto, Brighton, and Belleville could see 2mm of ice accretion with local amounts towards 2 to 4mm. Areas between Belleville and Madoc could locally see slightly higher amounts between 2 and 5mm. Areas between a line which runs from Prescott to Westport to Bancroft to South River to Monetville west to a line which runs through and between Woodview and MacTier can expect between 2mm of ice accretion. Local pockets towards 2 and 4mm are possible. Areas over Manitoulin Island extending towards Killarney can expect trace amounts to 2mm.
Green or '2':
Areas in the green or marked with a '2' can expect between 2 and 5mm of ice accretion. This includes the extreme southeastern corner of Manitoulin Island as well as areas between MacTier, Midland, Angus, Beaverton, and Woodview. This also includes the shores of Lake Ontario such as Oshawa and Mississauga as well as a small line in the Extreme South running through Brantford, Woodstock, and Lucan. Much of Huron, Bruce and Grey Counties are included in this as well, including Owen Sound, Wiarton, Hanover, and Wingham.
Yellow or '3':
Areas in the yellow or marked with a '3' can expect between 5 and 10mm of ice accretion. This includes the northern half of the Bruce Peninsula as well as the Dundalk Highlands extending into Collingwood and Shelburne. This also includes a small circle around the center of Southwestern Ontario which includes Stratford, Mount Forest, and Brampton. This area also includes a small line which runs north of Lake Ontario to include Newmarket, Vaughan, Uxbridge, and Peterborough.
Orange or '4':
Areas in the orange or marked with a '4' can expect between 10 and 15mm of ice accretion. This includes the center of Southwestern Ontario including Listowel, Arthur, Kitchener, Cambridge, Orangeville, and Guelph. Locally fewer amounts between 5 and 10mm may be possible in localized pockets and on the direct edge of this area.
Daylight Saving Time
Just a reminder that for those who engage in Daylight Saving Time each year, the clocks push forward 1 hour at 2am on Sunday, March 10th.