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'It could be the last real blast of winter:' Rain may change into snow tonight as temperatures drop in Toronto

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A spring storm brought heavy rain, strong winds and wet snow to the Greater Toronto Area Wednesday evening, causing power outages.

As of 11 p.m., about 8,000 Hydro One customers in Bowmanville were left in the dark due to a power outage. On its website, the company said crews were responding to outages caused by high winds.

It was unclear when power would return to the affected customers.

Rain was expected to transition to wet snow Wednesday night, especially for areas away from Lake Ontario, as temperatures dropped to 2 C from a high of 6 C earlier in the day. However, Environment Canada said snowfall amounts won’t be significant.

Toronto could expect about two centimetres of snow locally.

While the rain has been manageable, the temperature drop and snowfall could lead to issues with traffic, University of Waterloo Meteorologist Frank Seglenieks told CP24 on Wednesday afternoon.

 

“Most of the problems associated with it are going to be from the wet heavy snow falling later on today and into tomorrow,” he said. “That's just going to cause a lot of chaos as far as traffic goes.”

Winds, which gusted up to 80 kilometres an hour earlier in the day, were expected to ease by Wednesday evening. Several Toronto hospitals under the University Health Network faced a system outage Wednesday morning due to the weather and strong winds.

While the winds will die down, Seglenieks noted that much of the weather problems in the region will be instead due to the wet snow and rain over the next 24 hours.

The Toronto Police Service warned residents to stay away from rivers, streams and shorelines, which are at risk of flooding.

There is a 40 per cent chance of flurries and rain showers Thursday morning and temperatures are expected to hit around 3 C.

The precipitation is forecast to continue until the weekend, with the sun finally peeking out on Saturday. Temperatures are expected to hit the double digits at this point.

Seglenieks noted that this may the last blast of wintery weather in the region.

“Certainly winter storms and snow accumulation can still happen in April and even into late April so we're not past that hump yet,” he said.

“But it could be the last real blast of winter that we'll see this year … for the next couple of weeks it looks like it is going to be getting more towards the spring side of the temperatures.”

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