Expect ‘significant winter storm’ in Ottawa just before Christmas

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement calling for a “significant winter storm” late this week into the holiday weekend, and is advising people to consider changing their travel plans.

The new forecast comes after a massive storm dumped 38 centimetres of snow on Ottawa and the region from Thursday to Saturday.

This storm will look quite a bit different. Environment Canada says it may start as rain or snow late Thursday before transitioning to rain in many areas early Friday.

“Temperatures are expected to plummet on Friday leading to a potential flash freeze for locations that receive rainfall,” the special weather statement said. “Rapidly falling temperatures will be accompanied by strong to potentially damaging winds along with snow that may be heavy at times.”

Environment Canada says “a multi-day lake effect snow event is expected into the weekend in the wake of the system for locations east of the Great Lakes.”

“While there is high confidence in a high impact winter storm, the details regarding wind speeds, precipitation types and amounts remain highly uncertain at this time,” the weather agency says.

The special weather statement covers all of southern and eastern Ontario.

“Consider altering plans through the holiday weekend as travel conditions may become dangerous. Extensive utility outages are possible.

Environment Canada says temperatures Friday night into the weekend will likely be the coldest of the season to date.

The forecast high for Friday is 9 C, with temperatures expected to plummet to -7 C that night and -13 C on Christmas Eve.

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