What to expect — and when — as a winter storm hits the GTA



It is likely going to be a slow, and at times dangerous, afternoon commute in the GTA Wednesday. 

A winter storm headed for southern Ontario is expected to bring a mix of snow, ice and freezing rain to the region later today.

Here’s what we know so far about the forecast.

Snowfall will get heavier this afternoon, probably between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. — right in time for rush hour, according to Environment Canada Senior Meteorologist Katrina Eyk

In the west of the GTA — Burlington, Oakville and Milton — snow will change to freezing rain sometime in the evening and continue falling throughout the night.

Farther east in Peel Region and Toronto, residents can expect a nasty mix of snow, ice pellets and possibly periods of freezing rain, Eyk says.

In a winter weather warning issued by Environment Canada late Tuesday, the agency said that “surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous.

“If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop.”

Between 10 and 15 centimetres of icy snow is forecast to accumulate in the Toronto area before the storm largely tapers off Thursday morning.

But freezing drizzle may continue throughout Thursday, Eyk says, with periods of light snowfall possible into the afternoon and evening.

While the forecast is looking ugly for the GTA, the weather could get even worse in other parts of the province.

Environment Canada says extensive power outages are likely around Niagara, London and other areas of southwestern Ontario where it’s forecasting freezing rain, moderate winds and up to 20 millimetres of ice buildup.

TTC service changes

The TTC says it is prepared for the storm, with some notable service adjustments expected as the snowfall picks up.

The transit agency says Line 3 Scarborough SRT will most likely close at 7 p.m. Wednesday, with the service replaced by buses until the storm subsides.

Similarly, 41 bus stops in hilly areas that become precarious to navigate in wintry conditions will shut down at 5 p.m. The full list of those stops can be found here.

The TTC also says that private tow contractors are on standby to help free any buses that get stuck in the snow.

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