'The opening act': Winter weather just getting started across Canada
Taline McPhedran, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, December 11, 2016 3:31PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 11, 2016 9:05PM EST
Winter has arrived in Canada and won’t be leaving anytime soon. Southern Ontario is expected to see its first big snowfall of the year while British Columbia continues to see snow and falling temperatures.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for some areas of southern Ontario and snowfall warnings for other areas of the province.
According to Dave Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, the weather system moved from the northwestern part of the United States and over to the Great Lakes, heading northeast. A majority of areas in southern Ontario are expected to get anywhere from 10 to 15 centimetres of snow by Monday morning.
“That’s more than we had all of last year and this is only the first big one,” Phillips told CTV News Channel on Sunday.
Light snow is expected throughout the afternoon before becoming heavier in the evening. Environment Canada is warning drivers of a potentially messy commute on Monday morning.
Snowfall warnings and extreme cold alerts have also been issued for areas across British Columbia's Lower Mainland. An additional 20 centimetres of snow could accumulate throughout Sunday on top of the 20 centimetres that fell over Saturday night in certain areas. Rain is also expected to hit parts of the region overnight, before turning to snow. Victoria and Vancouver have seen 10 to 15 centimetres of snow in the past few days.
"They've had a lot of cold too and winter really is both the feel and the look for British Columbia," said Phillips. "It's something they haven't seen for two years."
According to Phillips, British Columbia has seen an increase in cold Siberian and Alaskan air that, when mixed moist weather systems that are typical for the area, creates snow. Environment Canada is encouraging people to dress warmly and cover any exposed areas as temperatures in the Chilcotin, where an extreme cold warning is in place, could hit minus 30 overnight.
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have been facing extremely cold temperatures lately and Environment Canada has also issued snowfall warnings for parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Four Nova Scotia counties had to deal with snow squall alerts on Sunday, with highway visibility reduced to near zero in several areas.
A storm is forecast to hit the Atlantic province on Monday.
"This is sort of like the weather 'trailer,'" said Phillips. "It's the opening act of what is to be certainly a tougher winter than we had last year."