A winter storm can create slippery driving conditions to kick off the new work week.
Environment Canada has issued a frozen rain warning for Ottawa, calling for snow and freezing rain Sunday evening through Monday morning.
The forecast calls for 5 to 10 inches of snow on Sunday evening, before changing to icy rain on Monday morning and rain in the afternoon.
“A low-pressure system will track east through the Great Lakes today through Monday,” says Environment Canada. “Rainfall will start as snow this evening, then change to freezing rain early Monday morning before passing into the rain until Monday afternoon. Areas such as highways, roads, crossings and parking lots may become icy. “Be prepared to adjust your direction by changing road conditions.”
Environment Canadian meteorologist Steven Flisfeder tells CTV News Ottawa that this system will be important.
“It’s the first big slap in the face this season,” he said. “Monday morning’s trip will be affected.”
Flisfeder says it is unclear how much frozen rain will fall because it depends on when and for how long temperatures reach freezing point, but he predicts icy surfaces across the region.
Frozen rain warnings are also in effect in the Prescott-Russell area and in and around Cornwall. To the south, along 401 and east to Kingston, special weather statements warn of the danger of frozen rain. Warnings may be issued.
“They are just at the top of this system,” Flisfeder told the Kingston region. “If it changes, they may end up seeing some warnings. It’s very likely there will be cold rain. People need to be aware of the weather, move towards the conditions and check for alarms.”
The city of Ottawa says its snowplow fleet will be on standby.
“Our teams will monitor #OttCity “Road conditions throughout the weekend and you can expect to see our vehicles applying salt, sand or gravel to melt the ice and provide traction, or plowing to clear snow if required,” the city said on Twitter.
Ottawa Airport recorded 5.6 inches of snow on Saturday. More than 5 cm of snow also fell in Gatineau.
Ontario Provincial Police reported that snow kept officers busy today in North Grenville, with several collisions reported.
In Ottawa, OC Transpo reported that some stops were not in use due to weather conditions.
Winter storm warnings
Some parts of the region are under winter storm warnings. In the Upper Ottawa Valley, residents can expect up to 20 cm of snow as well as cold rain.
“Rainfall will start like snow late this afternoon and will become dense sometimes tonight,” says Environment Canada. “Snow is expected to change into ice cubes and frozen rain overnight before turning to rain by Monday morning. Total snowfall of 15 to 20 cm and accumulation of ice due to frozen rain is likely. “
Winter storm warning for Gatineau requires up to 15 cm of snow mixed with frozen rain from Sunday to Monday.
Dramatic fluctuations in forecast
The forecast for Ottawa calls for a mix of sun and clouds with a 30 percent chance of afternoon storms and a maximum temperature of minus 5 C.
Snow mixed with ice cubes is expected to start on Sunday evening. At night the temperature should fluctuate around minus 4 C, with a cold breeze of minus 13.
Heavy snow will continue Monday morning, passing into cold rain with rising temperature and then passing into rain in the afternoon. Monday’s maximum temperature is 9 degrees Celsius, which is approximately 10 degrees warmer than normal.
Flisfeder said this is due to a mass of warm air moving from the south.
“It may seem very unexpected, but it is not uncommon,” he said, adding that the official level may not be as warm as forecast. “I would put a star on it. It depends on the amount of warm air that enters the region. In the Ottawa Valley, it is usually a little colder.”
A blast of very cold northern air will quickly replace the warm southern air, he said, which will cause temperatures to drop overnight until Tuesday morning.
By Tuesday morning, the temperature is expected to drop back to minus 12 C. The sky should be clear and Tuesday’s prospect is sunny with a maximum temperature of minus 8 C, which is seven degrees colder than the average for this period of year.
Small thunderstorms are expected on Wednesday with the possibility of storms and maximum temperatures minus 7 degrees Celsius.
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