The first major snowstorm of the season that left at least three dead in the United States Thursday is heading toward Canada, meteorologists say.

Environment Canada warned that heavy snow is expected Thursday night and Friday in parts of Ontario and Quebec.

β€œAn intensifying Colorado low currently over Chicago will track across Southern Ontario tonight,” the statement said.

It also said the snow will probably be heavy as the storm centre approaches, reaching 15 centimetres by Friday morning.

In addition, strong winds will reduce visibility in occasional blowing snow, making driving conditions hazardous, the department said.

The snowstorm has made its way eastward from the Midwestern United States, dropping a foot of snow in Des Moines, Iowa, and causing damage to homes in Arkansas and Alabama.

The heaviest snow could extend from northwestern Missouri into Milwaukee, Chicago and Michigan, reaching a foot in some places, according to forecasters.

With files from The Associated Press