Quebec And Ontario Hit By Powerful Snowstorm

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TORONTO — A powerful storm system which dealt southern Ontario its first real blast of winter this season moved into Quebec on Tuesday, with meteorologists expecting it to hit Atlantic Canada later in the day.

The system moved into Canada from the United States, where it had spawned deadly tornadoes in Texas over the weekend, and brought heavy snow, ice and blustery winds Monday to several other states, causing the cancellation of more than 2,800 flights nationwide.

quebec snow
Mike Stefanakis shovels his driveway in Saint Lazare, west of Montreal, Tuesday, Dec.29, 2015 during the first major storm of winter. (Graham Hughes/CP)

"This particular messy mix of precipitation, the snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain, really is the first taste of winter for a lot of southern Ontario," said Geoff Coulson, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada. "This is a large-scale system.

Snow gave way to rain in many areas, including the Toronto region, by Tuesday morning.

The conditions made for a slow commute as motorists dealt with slick roads and slushy sidewalks. Ontario Provincial Police said they had responded to more than 300 collisions since the storm began.

While southwestern Ontario was expected to see periods of rain for the rest of the day, a freezing rain warning remained in effect for areas north and northeast of Toronto.

Meanwhile, in eastern and central Ontario, including the Ottawa valley, North Bay and the Sudbury areas, colder temperatures meant heavy snow was in the forecast, said Coulson.

The storm system also made its way into southern Quebec, with the Greater Montreal area, the Laurentians and the Eastern Townships expected to get 30 to 40 centimetres of snow by Tuesday evening.

quebec storm
A car is shown in a ditch in Saint Lazare, west of Montreal, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 during the first major storm of winter. (Graham Hughes/CP)

"They anticipate this to be mostly a snowfall event, where some areas of southern Quebec could see between 30 to 40 centimetres before the system finally weakens off and pulls out overnight," said Coulson. "A similar situation in the Maritimes, this system will also affect them during the course of the day."

Snowfall warnings were in effect for southern parts of Nova Scotia and southern parts of New Brunswick, some of which had already been hit by up to 18 centimetres of snow on Sunday.

A snowfall warning was in effect for Halifax, while a winter storm watch was in place for Fredericton.

The inclement weather led to numerous flight cancellations and delays at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport as well as at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

Quebec provincial police reported many numerous collisions on the province's roads but no injuries or deaths.

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