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  • Writer's pictureKyle Sooley-Brookings

Travel chaos as strong storm rips across eastern Canada


A potent winter storm is slamming the eastern half of Canada causing travel chaos.


Ontario

Across northeast Ontario a strong cold front will sweep through today, bringing an intense burst of heavy snow as well as plummeting temperatures. Behind the front, a flash freeze is expected across the area, which will create extremely treacherous travel conditions. Damaging westerly gusts of 100 to 120 km/h are possible Friday afternoon and evening. Near zero visibility is possible when the strong winds combine with heavy snow Friday afternoon and evening. Lake enhanced snowfall amounts of 5 to 15 cm are expected behind the cold front. Lake effect snow is expected to continue into Saturday. Rainfall amounts approaching 30 mm are also possible northeast of Lake Ontario.


For areas east of Lake Huron blizzard conditions are expected to develop late this morning and continue well into Saturday. Wind gusts of 80 to 100 km/h are possible Friday afternoon into evening. Near zero visibility is possible when the strongest winds combine with heavy snow Friday afternoon and evening. Lake enhanced snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 cm are expected behind the cold front and will continue into Saturday.


From Windsor through the Greater Toronto Area rain is expected this morning. A strong cold front will sweep through today. Behind the front, a flash freeze is expected across the area, which will create extremely treacherous travel conditions. Snowfall amounts of 5 to 15 cm are possible behind the cold front.


For eastern sections of Ontario rainfall amounts of 30 mm is expected. A strong cold front will then sweep through this afternoon, bringing an intense burst of heavy snow as well as plummeting temperatures. Behind the front, a flash freeze is expected. Snowfall amounts of 5 to 10 cm are possible behind the cold front.


10 to 20 cm combining with wind gusts of 60 to 80 km/h is expected for far northern and north of Lake Superior.


Northeastern Ontario as well as portions of central and eastern Ontario will see of 15 to 25 of snow beginning this afternoon.


Quebec

A total of 30 to 50 centimetres of snow is expected for the areas under a winter storm warning, winds will gust from 90 to 90 km/h.


Storm surge is expected along the St. Lawrence River.


New Brunswick

For areas under a rainfall warning, 20 to 40 mm is expected.


Precipitation will begin late this morning as heavy rain over southern New Brunswick and as snow and ice pellets over central and northern New Brunswick. Snow is expected to transition to rain over central portions of the province by this afternoon or evening. A band of freezing rain may set up for several hours along the St. John river valley near noon before transitioning to rain by afternoon. Rain will taper off early Saturday morning.


Winds will gust from 90 to 110 km/h across New Brunswick this evening until early Saturday morning.


Storm surge will impact northern coastal areas with waves of 5 to 7 metres tonight until early Saturday evening.


Prince Edward Island

Winds will gust to 90 km/h beginning this evening and diminishing by Saturday morning. Additionally, elevated water levels could cause coastal flooding.


Nova Scotia

Heavy rain and very strong winds are expected from this morning to Saturday. Rainfall amounts of 20 to 40 mm are expected combined with wind gusts to 90 km/h.


Newfoundland and Labrador

On Saturday the south coast and the Avalon Peninsula will see mostly rain. Snow or ice pellets, followed by freezing rain and then rain, will occur elsewhere across the island.


Snowfall amounts will range from trace amounts in the east to as high as 10 cm over parts of western Newfoundland. Rainfall amounts will range from 5 mm over western and central Newfoundland to between 10 and 20 mm in the east. Some areas west of the Avalon may also receive several hours of freezing precipitation during the transition from snow to rain.


Winds will be very strong ranging from gusts to 80 to 140 km/h for areas under the wind warning to 150 km/h in the Wreckhouse area.


For the southwestern coast of Newfoundland wave heights of 4 to 6 metres is expected.


In Labrador widespread blowing snow is expected. In Red Bay to L'Anse-au-Clair 15 to 20 cm of snow and ice pellets is expected combined with wind gusts to 80 km/h.

 

School closures:

In southern Ontario, several schools have closed. Schools in Toronto, Ottawa, York, Durham, Peel, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Guelph, Sarnia, and others are closed today. (Friday)


Travel implications:

  • Wind conditions today may result in restrictions of traffic on the Confederation Bridge commencing approximately 9:00 am until approximately 3:00 am tomorrow.

  • Marine Atlantic has cancelled all crossings for this evening and warns that crossings on Christmas Eve could also be cancelled.

  • Hundreds of flights from Ontario to Newfoundland are cancelled due to severe weather.

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