‘Crippling blizzard’ expected in parts of southern Ontario, with other alerts issued elsewhere

All of southern Ontario is under some form of weather advisory ahead of a major storm that’s expected to move into the region beginning Thursday.

The complex weather system is forecasted to begin as rain for most areas on Thursday before temperatures drop Friday, possibly causing a flash freeze.

Precipitation is then expected to transition to snow, with accumulation amounts greatly varying depending on the location.

Read more: Hydro One crews preparing to respond to ‘potentially damaging’ Ontario storm

Strong wind gusts of up to 120 km/h are expected for some places.

Environment Canada has issued a blizzard warning for portions of southern Ontario, including the Bruce Peninsula, Grey County, southern Bruce County, Huron County, Perth County, Dufferin County, northern Wellington County, as well as southern Niagara Region.

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The weather agency is warning of a “crippling blizzard” for those areas extending into the weekend as lake effect snowsqualls develop. Accumulation amounts of up to 50 cm is possible, but in the Niagara Region the weather agency is warning of 15 to 30 cm, with locally higher amounts closer to Fort Erie.

Meanwhile, the Greater Toronto Area is under a winter storm watch, with one of the hazards being “wind gusts of 90 to 100 km/h creating widespread blowing snow which will significantly reduce visibility.”

Read more: Toronto city crews prepare to respond to pre-Christmas winter storm

Forecasted accumulation for the GTA is 5 to 15 cm, the weather agency said.

“Precipitation is expected to begin as rain or snow late this afternoon or early this evening before transitioning to rain for many areas tonight. Temperatures are expected to plummet on Friday morning leading to a potential flash freeze,” the winter storm watch read.

“Rapidly falling temperatures will be accompanied by damaging winds along with snow, heavy at times. Extensive blowing snow will develop Friday morning.”

Global News will update this story throughout the day with the latest forecasts.

Environment Canada

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