After a milder and relatively snow-free start to January, the month is ending on a much more wintry note.
The biggest storm of the year so far brought a widespread 10-20 cm of snow across southern Ontario on Wednesday, with impressive snowfall rates of 2-5 cm per hour hampering the afternoon and evening commutes in a hurry.
Dozens of accidents were reported across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), slowing traffic to a crawl on just about every major highway in the region.
Though the bulk of the snow fell through Wednesday night and the majority of it has come to an end, slippery roads and untreated/unplowed side roads may cause more headaches again on Thursday.
Snowfall warnings were still in effect across eastern Ontario first thing Thursday however, with an additional 5 cm expected to fall throughout the day. The poor conditions also prompted the region to pull all school buses from the roads, though schools did opt to remain open in the Ottawa area.
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Only a brief pause before next rounds of snow
An active pattern locked into place will allow for several more opportunities for snow in Ontario heading through next week and the start of February.
A clipper system from the Prairies advancing towards Ontario will mean just a temporary pause before the next round of snow makes its way into the province.
Snow will spread into northern Ontario early Friday and arrive in southern Ontario Friday evening.
In true clipper fashion, the system will bring blustery winds, which in combination with the recent fallen snow and additional system snow, could lead to reduced visibility with blowing snow. Gusts between 40-60+ km/h are expected to accompany the system. Generally a trace to 5 cm of snow is forecast.
Temperatures will briefly rise above freezing ahead of the cold front, then turning colder during the day on Saturday once again.
Another significant snowfall is expected along the 401 corridor across southern Ontario and near/south of the St. Lawrence across southern Quebec on Sunday. This will be a weaker system than the Wednesday storm, but due to the higher amount of moisture embedded within the system, an extended period of snow with colder temperatures could still impact travel from Windsor to Quebec City. An early look suggests between 5-15 cm of snow is possible for the region.
This wintry setup will remain locked in place for the final days of January and into early February, as the region will be the battleground between frigid weather to the west versus mild weather to the south and east. A couple more systems are expected to track along this boundary next week and bring more snow to the region, but the timing is still uncertain.
Frigid weather and lake-effect snow are likely late next week and weekend.
Check back in with The Weather Network for updates on the forecast for Ontario.