STORM WATCH: December 22-26, 2022
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
LAST UPDATE: 9:00 PM, December 26 2022
NEXT UPDATE: Not Scheduled
*** THIS STORM WATCH HAS NOW ENDED. THIS PAGE WILL REMAIN ON OUR WEBSITE FOR ARCHIVAL PURPOSES. A WEATHER SUMMARY WILL BE POSTED ONCE ALL INFORMATION HAS BEEN COLLECTED. ***
A major winter storm is headed for Southern Ontario just in time for the holiday season, likely to cause large problems for travellers at this busy time of year.
Eastern Ontario will see rain and snow late Thursday. The system will move into Southern Ontario early Friday morning, bringing rain to start. A rapid drop in temperature is expected as the system makes it way east, causing a flash freeze where areas that receive rain and snowmelt will ice over very quickly. Roads and sidewalks will become icy and slippery rapidly.
The rain will transition to snow in the morning, and the system will continue to move east as the winds also pick up across the region. There is the potential for some areas to see wind gusts of over 120 km/h. When combining the very strong wind gusts and the snow, blizzard conditions are expected, causing very poor travel conditions.
On Saturday, snow will move out of the region. Strong winds will continue across the region, possibly up to 90 km/h. Although the snow will end, the strong winds are expected to produce blowing and drifting snow, especially in open areas. Travel may be poor in many areas again on Saturday. Snow squalls are expected to develop off Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Lake Erie and potentially Lake Ontario on Saturday. In combination with the strong winds, travel in these areas may be very poor again. More details on the snow squalls will be posted in a later Storm Watch update.
On Sunday, it is expected that the winds will ease once again, however it is possible that the region may see wind gusts of 60 to 70 km/h, causing blowing and drifting snow for Christmas Day. Snow squalls are expected to continue off Lake Huron, causing very poor travel conditions. More details on the snow squalls will be posted in a later Storm Watch update.
Snow squalls will begin to ease on Monday. Wind gusts across the region will also begin to ease. More details for Monday will be posted in a later Storm Watch update.
Stay tuned for further updates on this winter storm. Travel is expected to be treacherous across the region. Consider cancelling travel plans until conditions improve. Now is the time to prepare an emergency kit. More details on what to include are below.
As tomorrow will be a day of travelling for many for Christmas Day, we have decided to use our all new Travel Outlook to depict the driving conditions for the day tomorrow.
We are expecting Lake Huron, parts of Eastern Ontario, the Fort Erie/Port Colborne area, and the Long Point area to see snow squalls, leading to poor travel. Strong wind gusts of up to 70 km/h or greater are also expected, leading to blowing and drifting snow as well as poor visibility.
For the rest of the region, wind gusts of 50 to 60 km/h are expected. Blowing and drifting snow will be possible, as well as poor visibility, especially in rural areas where there are already large snow drifts.
Conditions will improve tomorrow night into Boxing Day.
The heaviest rainfall for this winter storm is expected in Eastern Ontario, where 20 to 30 mm is expected and a Rainfall Warning has been issued. Rain will move into Eastern Ontario Thursday afternoon and continue through Friday until the transition to snow occurs. The rest of the region will see less rain, most of the coming from the winter storm entering the system early Friday morning.
20 to 30 mm: Cobourg, Belleville, Kingston and Brockville.
10 to 20 mm: Toronto, Newmarket, Oshawa, Port Perry, Peterborough and Cornwall.
5 to 10 mm: Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, London, Brantford, Niagara, Kitchener, Hamilton, Orangeville, Barrie and Ottawa.
Trace to 5 mm: Goderich, Kincardine, Tobermory, Stratford, Collingwood, Orillia, Bancroft and Renfrew.
The heaviest snowfall is expected along Lake Huron and in the Niagara region where local snowfall amounts will be greater due to lake effect snow.
35 to 40 cm: Goderich, Kincardine, Port Elgin, Wiarton and Tobermory.
30 to 35 cm: Listowel, Mitchell, Harriston and Owen Sound.
25 to 30 cm: Stratford, Collingwood, Shelburne, Welland, Fort Erie, Niagara Falls and Mount Forest.
20 to 25 cm: London, Orangeville, Wasaga Beach, Long Point, Cayuga, Fergus, Parry Sound, Huntsville, Bancroft, Belleville, Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall and Ottawa.
15 to 20 cm: Chatham, Sarnia, St. Thomas, Woodstock, Kitchener, Barrie, Midland, St. Catharines, Bracebridge and Cobourg.
10 to 15 cm: Windsor, Leamington, Hamilton, Newmarket, Port Perry and Newmarket.
5 to 10 cm: Oakville, Toronto, Oshawa and Markham.
Wind gusts on Friday morning will be the strongest in the Niagara region, where wind gusts of 90 to 100 km/h are expected. Areas just outside the Niagara region can expect wind gusts of 80 to 90 km/h. Southwestern Ontario will see wind gusts of 70 to 80 km/h, while Central Ontario sees wind gusts of 60 to 70 km/h, 50 to 60 km/h in the GTA and Eastern Ontario, and 40 to 50 km/h for the rest of the region. Winds across the region will become stronger throughout the day.
By Friday afternoon, the Niagara region will see wind gusts of 100 to 110 km/h. Areas just outside of the Niagara region will see wind gusts of 90 to 100 km/h. Most of the region will see wind gusts of 80 to 90 km/h, while Eastern Ontario sees gusts of 70 to 80 km/h.
Winds will become stronger by Friday evening, as the Niagara region will see wind gusts of 110 to 120 km/h. Areas off Lake Huron, outside the Niagara region, and off Lake Ontario will see wind gusts of 100 to 110 km/h. Most of the region will see wind gusts of 90 to 100 km/h, while areas along Highway 11 north of Orillia will see wind gusts of 80 to 90 km/h.
Strong wind gusts are expected across the region through Saturday. By early Saturday morning, Southwestern Ontario will see wind gusts of 80 to 90 km/h, possibly stronger wind gusts locally. The rest of the region will see wind gusts of 90 to 100 km/h. All areas are expected to see continued blowing and drifting snow, causing poor travel due to low visibility. Blizzard conditions are possible.
By Saturday afternoon, winds will continue to ease across the region. Southwestern Ontario and the Parry Sound area will see wind gusts of 70 to 80 km/h. The rest of the region will see wind gusts of 80 to 90 km/h. All areas are still expected to see continued blowing and drifting snow, causing poor travel due to low visibility. Blizzard conditions are possible.
Strong wind gusts are expected later Saturday and into Sunday. Wind Outlooks will be posted in a future Storm Watch update.
Extreme Cold Outlook
By Friday night, very cold wind chills are expected across the region. Southwestern Ontario will see the coldest temperatures of the season.
-25°C to -30°C: Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, London, St. Thomas, Woodstock, Simcoe and Brantford.
-20°C to -25°C: St. Catharines, Goderich, Listowel, Hanover, Orangeville, Toronto, Peterborough and Cobourg.
-15°C to -20°C: Kincardine, Barrie, Orillia, Bancroft, Belleville, Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall and Ottawa.
-10°C to -15°C: Tobermory, Wiarton, Collingwood, Midland, Bracebridge, Parry Sound, Huntsville and Barry's Bay.
Winter Storm Outlook
The Extreme risk will be in the Niagara region, Prince Edward County, Kingston, and areas off Lake Huron. In these areas, very strong wind gusts of 120+ km/h are expected along with heavy snow. Blizzard conditions are expected, resulting in very poor visibility. Power outages and road closures are expected. Travel will be very difficult. Due to the very strong wind gusts, waves on the lakes may reach over 20 feet. A seiche is also expected in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
The Very High risk will cover most of the region. Snowfall is expected, along with a flash freeze beginning in Southwestern Ontario in the morning. Very strong wind gusts of up to 110+ km/h are possible. Blizzard conditions are expected in Southwestern Ontario, resulting in very poor visibility. Poor road conditions are expected throughout the day on Friday and Saturday. Power outages and road closures are expected. Travel will be difficult in these areas.
The High risk covers most of the GTHA. Less snowfall is expected, however very strong wind gusts are expected, possibly up to 110 km/h. Poor road conditions are expected along with poor visibility. Power outages are possible.
Winter Storm Hazards
On Friday Morning, temperatures will begin to rapidly drop across Southwestern Ontario, beginning in Windsor between 6 and 7 AM. Temperatures will continue to drop rapidly as the system moves to the east. Any area that receives rain or snowmelt will see a rapid flash freeze, causing icy road conditions and slippery surfaces such as sidewalks.
By Mid-Morning on Friday, the system will continue to push east, causing a flash freeze event to the east, including the GTA. In Southwestern Ontario, snow will move in, along with very strong wind gusts. The combination of falling snow and very strong wind gusts will create blizzard conditions, resulting in very poor travel conditions.
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