‘The snow is coming’: Storm to bring up to 25 cm of snow to Ottawa at the end of the workweek

It’s going to be a snowy end to the week in Ottawa, with Environment Canada warning of heavy snow Thursday night and all day on Friday.

“We know the snow is coming,” Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips says as the storm slowly moves towards the region.

“It’s going to be 24-30 hours and the amounts of snow quite uncertain right now, depends on the storm track.”

The agency has issued a special weather statement for Ottawa calling for 15 to 25 centimetres of snow Thursday night and Friday. 


Environment Canada says a “strong low pressure system” will move into eastern Ontario Thursday evening, with snow becoming heavy at times Thursday night into Friday.

Hazardous travel conditions due to heavy snowfall and poor visibilities,” Environment Canada said in a statement. “The Friday morning commute may be significantly impacted. Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.”

Phillips describes the storm as “mammoth”, as the Colorado low brings snow, freezing rain and ice pellets towards Ontario and Quebec.

“It’s really one of the largest I’ve ever seen and clearly it is slow moving,” Phillips told CTV Morning Live Wednesday morning.

The forecast calls for Ottawa to receive only snow, while Phillips says southwestern Ontario will be dealing with rain, ice pellets, freezing rain and snow.

The special weather statement covers all of eastern Ontario. Environment Canada says areas from Kingston to Brockville, Prescott and Cornwall will see 15 to 25 cm of snow. Pembroke, Renfrew, Arnprior, Calabogie and the Ottawa Valley will see 10 to 15 cm of snow.

Ottawa has received 25 cm of snow since the start of November, including 12 cm last Sunday.

If you are dreaming of a White Christmas, Phillips says this will guarantee you’ll see snow on the ground on Dec. 25.

“This is like a pre-Christmas gift,” Phillips said. “This ensures you’re going to have a White Christmas because you’re going to have that beautiful snow on the ground and then the temperatures are going to fall.”


Ontario Provincial Police are reminding motorists to adjust their driving due to the conditions.

Police are offering the following tips for motorists when snow starts to fall.

  • Drive according to current road and weather conditions. Reduce your speed when adverse weather conditions arise.
  • Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Remember, longer stopping distances may be required.
  • Be able to see and be seen. Clean frost and snow off all windows, mirrors, and lights.
  • Consider installing four winter tires on your vehicle, install good wiper blades and keep an ample supply of windshield washer fluid in your vehicle
  • Give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Consider postponing or cancelling your trip if the weather does not improve

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