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'Mess of a storm' hits GTA, record snow potentially in the making

Last Updated Dec 1, 2020 at 4:35 pm EST

Winter weather has arrived as we start the month of December as Toronto saw record rainfall on Monday with the potential for record snowfall on Tuesday.

‘Special Weather Statements’ have been issued for Northern York and Durham regions for a healthy amount of snow over the next couple of days. Snowfall Warnings have been issued for Barrie-Orillia-Midland and Dufferin-Innisfil. There is also a ‘Snowfall and Winter Storm’ warning in place for Grey-Bruce.

‘Snow days’ will look a little different this year. Here’s a breakdown of what cancelled buses means for regions across the GTA.

The enormous low pressure system has essentially stalled out and parked itself over Southwestern Ontario. With the unique atmospheric setup, we won’t see this low pressure system really get moving until late Tuesday and very early Wednesday. This is going to continue to bring us those northwesterly winds and snow showers through the evening.

RELATED: ‘Rather mild’ winter expected for Southern Ontario

For those in Downtown Toronto, the change from rain to heavy wet snow happened during the overnight. Residents woke up to a coating of snow on their windshield and lawn. Temperatures dropped to an overnight low of 0°.

As we head into Tuesday evening, temperatures will continue to drop below the freezing mark, so any untreated surfaces could get a bit slick and slippery. The snow will continue to fall across the GTA through the evening and into the overnight. There will be additional accumulation for everyone.

Overnight lows on Tuesday will range between minus-1° for areas right near Lake Ontario to minus-3° for areas like Barrie and Collingwood. Factor in the wind and we will have wind chills that will make it feel like minus-8° to minus-11°.

For Wednesday morning, conditions will gradually improve throughout the day. We’ll start with clouds and some leftover flurries. Any accumulation will total a centimetre or less. The good news is there will be some sunshine across the region in the afternoon as the sky begins to clear out. Temperatures will head above the freezing mark and up to around plus-3°. Wednesday will also be a windy day with westerly winds between 20 to 40 kilometres per hour and gusts to about 50.

By the time we’re done with the storm on Wednesday, there will be some decent snowfall totals across the region to start off the month of December.

Areas right near the lake will see up to 5 centimetres of snow. Areas further north including Woodbridge, Thornhill, Erin, Hamilton, and Ancaster are in the range of seeing 7 to 15 centimetres. The further north you go, the higher the snowfall totals will be. Areas like Orangeville, Shelburne, and Barrie will see anywhere between 15 to 25 centimetres of snow.

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