NEWS

Canada's weather weekend includes storms, freezing rain, extreme cold

01/03/2015 12:01 EST | Updated 03/05/2015 05:59 EST
Heavy snow? Freezing rain? Extreme cold? You can pick your poison in Canada this weekend, as winter brings a wide variety of poor weather from coast to coast.

A winter storm in Vancouver, extreme cold in Winnipeg and a messy few days in Newfoundland are among the warnings, watches and special statements currently issued by Environment Canada.

Here's a breakdown by region:

A multi-day mess in Newfoundland

A winter system is forecast to affect Newfoundland from Sunday through to Tuesday.

Environment Canada said in a special weather statement that snow will start in southwestern Newfoundland on Sunday afternoon before spreading across the island.   

Snow is expected to be heavy at times and rapidly accumulate before it changes to ice pellets and then to rain by Monday morning. Up to 15 cm of snow and 20 mm of rain is possible.

Winds could hit 120 km/h in the Wreckhouse area, where a wind warning is already in affect.

In Labrador, there is an extreme cold warning in Labrador City and Wabush with wind chill values of –45.

Freezing rain warning in N.B.

A trough of low pressure will cross New Brunswick on Sunday, affecting some western and central areas including Fredericton and Oromocto.

"Snow will develop in advance of the trough overnight tonight and change to ice pellets Sunday morning and to freezing rain near noon before ending early Sunday evening," the forecaster said in a freezing rain warning.

There is only one other warning in the Maritimes: a Les Suêtes wind warning in Cape Breton, with winds over 140 km/h possible.

Winter storm warning in eastern Ontario, southern Quebec 

A major low pressure system from the southwestern United States will move up toward the Great Lakes basin on Saturday.

Up to 15 cm of snow will begin to fall in eastern Ontario this afternoon, with a winter storm warning in place for areas along the Quebec border including Ottawa. 

The snow is expected to change to freezing rain and then to rain on Sunday morning. In the Renfrew, Pembroke and Petawawa areas freezing rain could persist until mid-day Sunday.

In Quebec, the system will bring snow this afternoon, spreading east across the province and totalling up to 25 cm that will be blown around by moderate to strong easterly winds. 

"As the warm front associated with this system approaches, the snow will become mixed with ice pellets and change to freezing rain over several regions," the forecaster said.

Five to 15 mm of freezing rain are possible in Montreal.

Freezing rain warning in southern Ontario

An area in southern Ontario that includes the Bruce Peninsula, Barrie, Orangeville and Guelph is under a freezing rain warning. 

Several hours of freezing rain are expected.

Toronto gets off relatively easy, with up to 5 cm of snow and a short period of freezing rain possible. That will be followed by up to 25 mm of rain.

Extreme cold warning in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, northern Ontario

Wind chill values ranging from –40 to –48 are forecast or happening in much of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northern Ontario.

"Plummeting temperatures and gusty winds will bring extreme wind chills of –40 this morning as well as locally poor visibilities in blowing snow," the warning for Winnipeg says.

There is also a snowfall warning in effect for the areas of northern Ontario bordering Minnesota and Lake Superior, with up to 20 cm possible.

Winter storm warning in B.C.

Much of B.C.'s coast including Vancouver is being warned of a major winter storm. 

"Total snowfall accumulation will range from just a few centimetres near the coast to near 20 cm over higher terrain and for inland areas," the warning says. "The snow will change to heavy rain late Sunday as warm Pacific air invades the region."

There's also a risk of freezing rain over the eastern Fraser Valley on Sunday, the forecaster said.

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