Snow, brisk winds in store this weekend

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / GalinaPhoto

Southwestern Ontario will see a blast winter weather this weekend, but how much snow will fall remains uncertain.

Environment Canada said snow will start falling late Friday night and continue into Saturday night due to a storm system that is developing over the Pacific Ocean. In a special weather statement that has been issued for the region, the national weather agency states the latest analysis of the storm shows it could dump between 10 to 15 centimetres near Lake Erie and 2 to 5 centimetres on areas north of Highway 7.

“Accompanying this snowstorm is going to be quite brisk winds,” said Desjanelle Matthews, severe weather meteorologist with Environment Canada. “So even though you might not get warning level snowfall, likely it will be a lot of blowing reducing visibilities. That will likely be an issue on Saturday into Saturday night.”

The exact track of the winter storm has not yet been determined, said Matthews. She notes if it heads more northerly it would increase snowfall amounts while a more southerly track would decrease the total accumulation.

Following closely behind the system is an influx of frigid arctic air that, coupled with the wind, will make it feel like -25 C to -30 C Sunday into Monday. Without the wind chill factored in, temperatures this weekend will hover around -10 C during the day and -17 C at night.

“It has been pretty mild so far this winter, so it feels like this is going to be winter coming this weekend for a lot of southern Ontario,” said Matthews. “People should be careful travelling this weekend due to potentially bad conditions with accumulating snow, the windiness, and low visibilities and blowing snow.”

Flurries are in the forecast for the first three days of next week with daytime highs remaining below the freezing mark.