An area of low-pressure sliding out of Colorado will undergo explosive intensification through the day Wednesday. This will be an blockbuster blizzard for portions of the Upper Midwest including South Dakota & Minnesota. 40-60cm+ of snow concurrent with 70-90km/h winds will cripple the region.
BLIZZARD WEAKENS AS IT MOVES INTO NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO
The explosive Colorado Low that will cripple South Dakota, will thankfully be weakening as it approaches Ontario. Snow will move into the Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Atikokan, Upsala area before midnight Thursday. Accumulating snow will combine with gusty winds between 40-55km/h, through Thursday night and Friday. It will be a good day to stay home and off the roads if you can.
Wawa to Timmins will see more ice pellets and wet snow, than rain. A transition to rain showers is expected throughout Friday Afternoon.
Kapuskasing to Hearst will remain as snow, where 15-20cm is expected to fall.
SOUTHERN ONTARIO IMPACTS
Strong wind, a surge of warmer air and rainfall will be the story across Southern Ontario Friday. A cool and partly-cloudy day Thursday, with patchy mixed precipitation. Largely confined to Southwestern Ontario.
Strong wind anticipated across Southwestern Ontario Friday morning. Strong Southeasterly gusts between 70-80km/h is expected north of Lake Erie and East of Lake Huron.
Temperatures in the afternoon will spike into the double digits across Southern Ontario. The Nations Capital Region will see the temperature climb near 9c. The trade-off will be a lousy day with occasional rain or showers Thursday. There is even a risk for localized thunderstorms early in the day Friday.
Our forecasting team is vigilantly monitoring a powerful low-pressure system expected to form North of the Texas Panhandle late this evening. The upper-level disturbance originating out of California, will coincide with a favorable setup for an explosive storm development. Read more about Panhandle Hooks’ here.
Did you know? It was an infamous Panhandle Hook which sank the SS Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10th, 1975.
This storm will feature strong winds, blizzard conditions, heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and shifting ice-conditions across the Great Lakes. Almost everyone in Eastern Canada will feel the effects of this powerful storm. Read more to gain insight on how this storm may impact you.
BLOCKBUSTER BLIZZARD EAST OF LAKE SUPERIOR
Our forecast team is closely monitoring a soon-to-be rapidly strengthening Panhandle Hook, sagging into the Texas Panhandle. Gathering abundant gulf moisture before trekking towards the Upper Great Lakes. The storm will experience the most intensification while tracking Northeastwards through the Upper Midwest (United States), towards Lake Superior & Northern Ontario. Coinciding with an expanding strong to damaging wind field.
Confidence is considerable for a high-impact Low for regions N and NE of Lake Superior with likely 30cm or more of blowing snow contingent with 60km/h+ wind gusts. The heaviest snowfall will likely be 30-40km inland from the immediate Lake Superior shoreline. This is bad news (or good new depending on your prerogative), when considering how much snow has already fallen across this region. Some are running out of places to even put the snow.
The fiercest winds will not correspond with the heaviest snowfall rates. Still, inland locales such as Timmins & Kapuskasing will still have to contend with extensive blowing & drifting snow. Especially, once the low tracks into Quebec, with colder air and stronger gusts arriving on the backside of the low.
There will be a line of mixing of wintry precipitation likely from Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury to the QC border. Including a brief period of ice pellets and rain-showers.
WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS ACROSS SOUTHERN ONTARIO
Temperatures will begin to surge above freezing across Southwestern Ontario, as early as, late Saturday evening. Double-digit temperatures & strong Southwesterly winds will advance throughout the Southern half of the Province throughout the morning & afternoon. Rain-showers and even a risk of elevated thunderstorms is expected. Proceeded by, a sharp cold front & plummeting temperatures.
We anticipate extensive blowing snow and poor-visibility East of Lake Huron late Sunday evening through Monday. Avoid all unnecessary travel in the red highlighted area on our wind impact map.
The supportive track and strength of the low will herald in a significant damaging wind threat across Southern Ontario. The strongest winds could peak as high as hurricane force (120km/h), along the Northeast shore of Lake Erie. We anticipate wind gusts over 100km/h across Prince Edward County, and East of Lake Huron. Peak wind gusts will likely reach or exceed 90km/h across the rest of Southern Ontario.
The sudden onset of warm air, rainfall, and extreme wind gusts will bring treacherous ice conditions across the Great Lakes. Ice shoves may be damaging to infrastructure along exposed shorelines. If you participate in winter activities such as, ice fishing or snowmobiling, it would be a good idea to remove your ice hut from the Great Lakes. Avoid snowmobiling until ice conditions improve.
A NEW COASTAL LOW BOMBS OUT AS IT TRACKS THROUGH THE MARITIMES
The powerful storm sweeps through Quebec on Sunday, and will subsequently phase into a strong ‘weather bomb’ south of Yarmouth. Potentially, deepening below 970mb (967-969mb).
While the exact phasing & extend of warm air advection is not entirely set-in-stone, it appears the heaviest swaths of snowfall will likely be off the Gaspe Peninsula shoreline and into the North Atlantic, thereby mitigating what could have been 2 or more feet of snow.
Southern New Brunswick will likely experience a rain/snow/wintry mix. With amounts totaling near 10cm. Amounts increasing to 20-30cm across the Northern extent of the Province. Pockets of heavier enhancement, accompanied by similar conditions is expected across Extreme Southern Newfoundland
Timing Western New Brunswick – Late Afternoon Sunday Most of New Brunswick – Sunday Evening Nova Scotia – Sunday Mid Evening PEI – Sunday Overnight Newfoundland – Monday
Hardest Hit Gaspe (35-45cm) Bathurst (25-35cm) Edmundston (30-35cm) Campbellton (30-35cm) Extreme Southern Shoreline of Newfoundland (25-40cm)
DANGEROUS BLIZZARD CONDITIONS STRETCH FROM JAMES BAY THROUGH NORTHERN QUEBEC
A major blizzard is on-tap for much of Northern Quebec. The worst of the treacherous conditions will be felt across the mouth of the Rupert River, Southeast of James Bay. Where rural communities can expect winds over 90km/h combined with 15-25cm of freshly fallen snow. Extensive blowing/drifting snow & near-zero visibility is expected. Isolated communities across Central & Northern Quebec may become cut-off, briefly.
A fierce snowstorm will approach the Canadian Border Sunday and linger until Tuesday across Saskatchewan and Manitoba: especially South-Central SK and MB.
A strong low pressure system originating from Colorado will move close to the aforementioned regions and intensify rapidly.
‘Colorado Lows’ are notorious for bringing intense blizzard conditions to the upper Dakotas and into the Prairies, however, they also pose a significant challenge to forecast as a slight directional change can alter the conditions dramatically.
Conditions will rapidly deteriorate Sunday PM, with heavy snow occurring in the time-frame of Sunday into Monday.
Blowing snow will be of considerable concern (through Tuesday), particularly for the South-Central SK/MB region.
Depending on the final track of the ‘Colorado Low’ some ice-pellets or freezing rain may certainly mix in, as the low may get pulled more Northeastwards bringing a slight warm sector, atmospherically, into several regions.
Updated Information: 03/04/2018 @ 10:30AM
Significant snowfall to target a large swath near the SK/MB border where over 1 foot is likely. Higher elevations, although localized, could approach 2 feet.
Ice pellets and freezing rain are expected to mix with snow in Southern Manitoba and Southern Saskatchewan near the immediate Canadian/USA border, thereby limiting overall accumulations.
Dry air will also be plentiful in some regions of Southern Manitoba, therefore a few regions will likely ‘underachieve’ and may receive 10-15cm rather than 15-25cm.
Winnipeg will receive roughly 15cm of snow +/- 2-5cm. More snow will be present W and NW of the city.
It is important to remain vigilant in regards to this significant snowstorm, especially in what has been a relatively ‘quiet’ winter season across much the Prairies.
Please stay tuned, as we at TCW are monitoring this situation extremely attentively.
Drive safe and always be alert during winter conditions.
Avoid all unnecessary travel across heavily impacted regions as whiteout conditions will become inevitable.