A major storm in Ontario isn't just causing headaches for drivers but for hundreds of travellers planning to fly in or out of Canada as well. The snowstorm, which some forecasters have touted as the worst the province has seen since 2008, has already cancelled over 300 hundred flights out of Pearson International Airport on Friday, according to the airport's website.
Environment Canada says the storm is expected to bring around 15 to 25 centimetres of snow to Toronto, with cities like Kingston expecting as much as 30 cm by the time the storm is expected to taper off on Saturday. The snowfall has already prompted travel advisories from Canadian carriers, warning would-be flyers of delays and cancellations.
The CBC reports that WestJet has pre-emptively cancelled 40 flights set to depart on Thursday and Friday in order to dodge a backlog in its schedule. According to the National Post, Air Canada has adjusted its ticketing policy to accommodate travellers flying or transferring from Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport who wish to travel at a different time, and can do so without a penalty.
The carrier is saying that snow, rain and air traffic conditions have impacted flights to and from Sudbury, Ont., Windsor, Ont., and Ottawa. Those hoping to fly into the States should also expect delays as flights to Philadelphia International, New York Airport in Newark, N.J., Logan International Airport in Boston, John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airport In New York have also been affected by similar conditions.
In the States, travellers on the Eastern Seaboard are dealing with their own share of obstacles as Winter Storm Nemo is expected to dump as much as a metre of snow in New York And Boston. The Associated Press is reporting that over 2,700 flights have been cancelled so far.
Airports are strongly urging travellers to call airlines in advance to see if their flights have been impacted by either snowstorm. Drivers expecting to pick up passengers who are already flying home are suggested to call airports in advance for up-to-date information on delays. Passengers flying Porter can find more information here. Those flying Air Canada can find read about delays and cancellations here and WestJet passengers can click here for more information.
With Files From The Canadian Press
Pedestrians cross a snow-covered street in Toronto on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
There are reports that commuters are shovelling on-ramps on the 401, one of the busiest highways around the GTA.
The winter storm hitting Ontario might be an annoyance but the same storm is hitting the northeast U.S. much harder.
From our story:
The heaviest snowfall was expected Friday night and into Saturday. Wind gusts could reach 75 mph. Widespread power failures were feared, along with flooding in coastal areas still recovering from Superstorm Sandy in October.
Boston could get 2 to 3 feet of snow, while New York City was expecting 10 to 14 inches. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said plows and 250,000 tons of salt were being put on standby. To the south, Philadelphia was looking at a possible 2 to 5 inches.
|@ CP24 : City of Hamilton has declared a snow emergency. Motorists are being advised not to park on snow routes to allow plows to get through|
|@ antonnorbert : @HuffPostCanada #snowday from Brampton. My son enjoying the snow outside. http://t.co/DlaHD8Ay|
|@ eekiboo : @HuffPostCanada Snow Plows to the rescue - Hurontario St, Mississauga. #GTA #snowday #snowstorm http://t.co/ZiNZmQb2|
BODY: From NASA: "A massive winter storm is coming together as two low pressure systems are merging over the U.S. East Coast. An animation of satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite from Feb. 6 to Feb. 8 shows the two systems headed for a collision off the mid-Atlantic Coast."
Today's snowstorm has snarled air traffic all over Ontario, the Eastern seaboard and more. Read our full story.
|@ KatieSimpson24 : Downtown #Toronto ghost town! It NEVER snows this much. cp24 http://t.co/mdVSrU4m|
This probably will not work with your Jack Russell or your chihuahua.
|@ WSJcanada : Toronto's big winter storm isn't slowing everyone down, especially not on this west-end street: http://t.co/ElGZlcrJ|
Gawker points out that the U.S. Weather Channel and Weather.com have completely lost their minds over this blizzard hitting the northeast.
From their story:
"At the time of yesterday's site-wide freak, these were the six scrolling stories on Weather.com's homepage: "HISTORIC, EXTREME SNOW"; "YOU MUST PREPARE NOW"; "HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET"; "HISTORIC SNOW TOTALS"; FLOOD THREAT AHEAD"; "SNOW DROUGHT MAY END"
We at HuffPost Canada will remain calm and measured.
|@ CP24 : As of 11 a.m., 18 centimetres of snow has fallen at Pearson airport, says CP24 meteorologist Bill Coulter. http://t.co/bSggZnRY #cp24snow|
NASA has released this photo of the blizzard currently hitting the northeast U.S. and southern Ontario. It's a big one! On the other hand, it looks awfully nice in Florida right now.
Working in your jammies, getting distracted by your cat, bottomless coffee?
|@ VIA_Rail : Storm Update: No cancellations at this time. Some minor delays. Info/Res 888-VIA-Rail. Check your train's status at https://t.co/MYfwe5fp|
The Hamilton-Wentworth School District has cancelled classes for Friday.
The Ottawa-Carleton school board will keep classes open but is cancelling buses.
Many GTA area universities are closed today.CLOSED:
University of Toronto - Scarborough
University of Toronto - Mississauga
University of Toronto (St. George Campus)
George Brown College
And we know you've got lots of questions.
When will this blasted weather go away?
Will it ruin my weekend plans?
Where are the best toboggan hills?
We'll update you throughout the day with weather and snow-related info.