Watches and warnings are in effect across the GTA and beyond due to blowing snow and snow squalls that are expected to hit much of the region on Friday.
Environment Canada issued a snow squall watch for Toronto, Peel Region, Milton, Oakville, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Pickering, Oshawa, southern Durham Region, as well as Hamilton and Burlington.
“A well organized snow squall originating from Lake Huron will move across the area late this afternoon into this evening,” the national weather agency said in its watch.
“At this point, it seems very likely this band will impact the afternoon/evening commute in the Golden Horseshoe from Oshawa to Hamilton. This band may also impact the 401 corridor from Oshawa to Kingston late this afternoon as well.”
The system could bring about two to five centimetres of snow in an hour, and drivers are warned to expect sudden changes in visibility due to the heavy snow.
Other areas of the GTA, such as Caledon, Newmarket, northern Durham Region and northern York Region are under a snow squall warning. The national weather agency said lake-effect snow squalls will continue into Saturday.
“Snowfall rates under this band may reach or exceed five centimetres per hour at times. This snow squall is crossing Highway 400 between Innisfil Heights and Highway 89,” Environment Canada said.
Drivers are warned to expect sudden changes in visibility due to the heavy snow.
680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said snow squalls to north of the GTA will sink south and affect Toronto and parts of the GTA with three to seven centimetres of snow throughout the day. She said the wind gusts could be close to 65 km/h at times with the windchill near -10 to -15.