Blustery weather tapers off in Prairies, hits Northern Ontario
Published Sunday, November 11, 2012 9:09AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 11, 2012 8:36PM EST
Areas from Saskatchewan to Quebec remained under storm warnings Sunday as winter weather dumped snow and freezing rain across the region.
A weather system that carried blizzard-like conditions to some Prairie provinces was moving away from the region Sunday afternoon, while parts of Northern Ontario were on track to receive heavy snow and freezing rain.
Despite winter weather conditions tapering off in central Manitoba, Environment Canada still had some areas under snowfall warnings late Sunday.
As the storm front moved into parts of Northern Ontario, a snowfall and winter storm warning was issued for areas surrounding Fort Severn. About 10 centimetres of snow is expected for this region, accompanied with strong winds and a risk of freezing rain. This was expected to change to occasional light snow later Sunday evening.
But just as quickly as it was scheduled to arrive, Environment Canada predicted the harsh weather conditions in Northern Ontario to improve later Sunday, when temperatures were forecast to rise above the freezing mark.
“As of late this morning the heavier snow had become mixed or changed to freezing rain,” the agency said in a Sunday bulletin. “Precipitation will change to flurries tonight.”
Freezing rain and snow began to fall Sunday morning in the Big Trout Lake area, about 580 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. The freezing rain was expected to spread northward.
By day’s end, Northern Ontario was expected to receive between 15 and 25 centimetres of snow.
Motorists, especially those in the Lake of the Woods region, have been asked to exercise caution as freezing rain falls in several parts of the region. Between five and 10 millimetres of ice accumulation is expected in some areas, Environment Canada said.
Meanwhile, a warm front located over central Quebec Sunday afternoon will move to the northeast during the evening. A band of freezing rain ahead of this front will still affect a few regions in northern and eastern parts of the province later Sunday night.
Environment Canada predicted no more than 3 mm of freezing precipitation for these areas. A blizzard warning has been issued for Northern Quebec that is expected to bring blowing snow and zero visibility Sunday night and into Monday.
Freezing rain warnings are also in effect for parts of Western Quebec. The conditions are expected to spread north- and eastward towards Central Quebec.
‘Colorado low’ moved north
Earlier this weekend, 10 to 30 cm of snow fell in southern Saskatchewan as a “Colorado low” system from the Western United States moved into Canada. The region was subject to snowfall warnings as Environment Canada warned that a heavy accumulation of snow was possible.
The so-called Colorado low system that forecasters said was responsible for the inclement weather began in the U.S. state of Montana. It moved across North and South Dakota, blanketing some areas with up to 50 cm of snow, before setting its sights on Western Canada.
In Winnipeg, approximately 25 cm fell in the city overnight and more than 35 cm fell west of Winnipeg, enough to shut down part of the Trans Canada Highway, leaving dozens of truckers stranded.
The RCMP diverted traffic to a service road only to have another semi jack-knife and nearly tip over, causing more delays. No injuries were reported in the incident.
City crews dealt with heavy snowfall, deploying 200 plows through major routes, residential streets and sidewalks for a majority of Sunday afternoon.
The City of Winnipeg expects to have all of the snow cleared by Thursday and has issued a residential parking ban that will commence as of 7 p.m. Monday.
Environment Canada expects a further 2-4 cm of snow this evening and cooler temperatures are expected to stay most of this week.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Karen Rocznik