Freezing rain expected during Thursday's morning commute
Codi Wilson, CTV Toronto
Published Wednesday, March 23, 2016 7:01AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 23, 2016 7:06PM EDT
Brace yourself. A winter blast is expected to hit Toronto, Hamilton and the GTA with freezing rain and snow tonight and Thursday.
A freezing rain warning has been issued for most of southern Ontario and officials are working ahead to prepare for slippery roads and possible power outages.
In anticipation, Toronto Hydro says extra crews will be on standby tonight.
"We’re telling our customers that power outages are possible, so they should be ready with an emergency preparedness kit," Tori Gass, a spokesperson for Toronto Hydro said in an email.
Rain is expected in Toronto Wednesday night and freezing rain is then expected to begin early Thursday morning just in time for the morning traffic rush. Temperatures overnight Wednesday are expected to dip to -1 and on Thursday, the temperature is expected to reach a high of 2C.
“A cold front is expected to move to the south of the region this morning then stall over regions near Lake Erie later today into Thursday. Meanwhile, a strong Colorado low is expected to track northeast along the line of the front, with precipitation from this system arriving today as a cold rain over southern sections or some snow mixed with ice pellets further north and east,” a statement on Environment Canada’s website says.
“As cold air continues to feed in from the northeast, temperatures will drop to zero or below by this evening, and a broad band of freezing rain is expected to develop as a result. The band of freezing rain will likely linger over the regions well into Thursday as stiff northeasterly winds continue to pump in a fresh supply of cold arctic air.”
Meanwhile, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is warning residents that there could be “hazardous conditions” near bodies of water as a result.
“This significant amount of precipitation for today and tomorrow will result in higher than normal water levels and flows in Greater Toronto Area rivers and streams,” the organization said Wednesday afternoon. “The combination of slippery and unstable banks, unsafe ice and cold water temperature will create hazardous conditions close to any river, stream or other water body.”
While the freezing rain is expected to slowly change over to rain in the GTA on Thursday morning, Environment Canada says that it may persist into Thursday evening in area further to the east.