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Tuesday December 17th, 2013

Posted at 4:30pm

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UPDATED: Thursday December 19th, 4:25pm

Environment Canada is warning that some bad winter weather is heading this way.

They say that a wintery mix of precipitation expected over Southern Ontario tonight, Friday, and Friday night. A break Saturday, then potential ice storm for some areas Saturday evening into Sunday.

Several disturbances originating in Texas are expected to move towards the Lower Great Lakes starting Friday. A storm track will set up from the midwest U.S. eastward to Southern Quebec. The first system is expected to ride along this track on Friday and precipitation with this system is expected to spread into Southwestern Ontario this evening and through the remainder of Southern Ontario by Friday morning. The exact location of this storm track will determine whether the precipitation falls as rain, freezing rain, ice pellets, or snow.

Their current assessment suggests that areas north of a line from Kincardine to Barrie to Ottawa are likely to see mainly snow with total snow amounts near 10 centimetres tonight into Friday evening. South of this line, little snowfall is expected with precipitation more likely to be in the form of rain, freezing rain or ice pellets.

After a break Saturday another more potent storm approaches Southern Ontario Saturday evening into Sunday. This next storm system is expected to tap into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. There is a risk that this could be a major ice storm for an appreciable swath of Southern Ontario.

They say that considerable uncertainty exists regarding which locations will be most severely impacted, but it appears that areas along the highway 401 corridor have the greatest likelihood for significant freezing rain amounts. There is a risk for widespread power outages due to fallen tree limbs and power lines. For areas farther north, there is also the possibility for significant snowfall and ice pellets from Lake Huron eastward to the Quebec border.

There is still uncertainty surrounding the exact position of the storm track. Any change in the storm track’s position will affect precipitation amounts and type. However, they say it is very likely that holiday travel will be significantly impacted.

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